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No action from SCOTUS in 3 cases involving LGBT employment discrimination

Transgender Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
Today, the Supreme Court held a private conference and for the first time considered three cases involving employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Court has released an order from today’s conference granting a few unrelated cases, but they’ve apparently not yet taken any action in the three LGBT cases. They will issue a follow-up order on Monday, January 7, and we could learn whether any of the cases were granted or denied on that day.

According to Equality Case Files, the next private conference is January 11, and the Court has already scheduled cases challenging President Trump’s ban on transgender military servicemembers to be considered that day.

We’ll likely know more on Monday.


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 4, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Tabasco: Same-Sex Marriage Up-Date

    Para este año, hay programadas dos bodas entre mujeres que ganaron sentencia el año pasado, reportó el presidente de la asociación civil, Sexualidad Libre y Sana de Tabasco, AC (SELYSA), Agustín Pérez Contreras.

    Así también, informó que el año pasado se llevaron a cabo nueve matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo, de los cuales, seis casos derivaron de sentencias emitidas desde el 2017 que se ejecutaron en el 2018. "Los otros tres matrimonios, interpusieron su amparo el año pasado y lo ganaron en ese mismo periodo, por lo que procedieron a casarse," apuntó.

    Pérez Contreras comentó que uno de los últimos matrimonios del año pasado, se trató de una pareja de mujeres del municipio de Centro (Villahermosa) que se casaron el 26 de diciembre, y que practicaron la inseminación artificial, este año se convertirán en la primera pareja homosexual en tener un hijo.

    For 2019, there are two scheduled marriages between women who won amparos last year, reported the president of the civil association, Sexualidad Libre y Sana de Tabasco, AC (SELYSA), Agustín Pérez Contreras.

    Likewise, he stated that in 2018 nine same-sex marriages were carried out, of which, six derived from amparos issued in 2017 that were executed in 2018. "For the other three marriages, an amparo was filed last year and they won it in that same period, so they proceeded to get married," he said.

    Pérez Contreras commented about one of the last marriages last year, two women from the municipality of Centro (Villahermosa) who were married on 26 December 2018 and who, through artificial insemination, will this year become the first same-sex couple to have a son.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 4, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    Perú: Lima Rally against Hate Crimes

    Per El Duque:

    A man in Perú allegedly shot his 17 year old son to death for being gay and then killed himself. Tonight, 4 January 2019, in Lima, a large group of people rallied against hate crimes.

    Note: Perú is also the country with a gay hate crime case pending before the CIDH.

  • 3. arturo547  |  January 5, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    This is the first hate crime in 2019. Let’s hope people become more conscious about the importance of anti-discrimination laws. As i said some time ago, the hate crimes law in Peru is still in effect because the president vetoed the scrapping of the law by the homophobic Fujimorista party. However, some MPs wanted to override the president’s veto. As far as of September, a well-known fujimorista MP proponed a final vote to finally override the president’s veto in order to eliminate the hate crimes law. Luckily the issue seems to have been forgotten, but we have to be prepared anyway.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 6, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Perú: Opinion del congresista Alberto Belaunde: “¿Cuánto odio puede tener un corazón para preferir un hijo muerto a un hijo gay?"

    "How much hate can a heart have to prefer a dead son to a gay son?"

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  January 5, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Social media goes wild for Kyrsten Sinema's unique sense of style during her swearing in as the nation's first openly bisexual senator by Mike Pence – using a copy of the Constitution and not the Bible

  • 6. arturo547  |  January 5, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Peru: Lima mayor to pass anti-discrimination law.

    Jorge Muñoz, the Peruvian capital’s mayor, has vowed to pass an ordinance banning among other things sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. He has a majority in the city council. This will be a huge step,
    considering the fact that Lima houses about 1/3 of the total population of the country.

  • 7. allan120102  |  January 5, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Breaking. Costa Rica
    As soon as January 11 civil unions are poise to be legal in CR. As the supreme court is expect to publish the decision on that day. Not sure if they are going to be legal while they wait for ssm to take effect or if its going to stay after the marriage decision takes effect.

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 6, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Costa Rica: Ruling Approving De Facto Unions between Same-Sex Couples to Be Ready on 11 January

    Sentencia que Avala Uniones De Hecho entre Parejas del Mismo Sexo Estaría Lista el 11 de Enero

    La sentencia integral de la Sala IV que avala las uniones de hecho entre parejas del mismo sexo en Costa Rica estaría lista el próximo viernes, 11 de enero 2019.

    El pasado 8 de agosto, (la misma fecha en que se anunció el fallo del matrimonio igualitario,}. los magistrados resolvieron una acción de inconstitucionalidad presentada desde el 2013 y dieron la razón al abogado Yashin Castrillo, dejando sin efecto artículos del Código de Familia que impedían el reconocimiento de este tipo de uniones. De acuerdo con Castrillo, el tribunal le confirmó que el fallo integral estará listo y será notificado en la segunda semana del 2019.

    Según dijo Castrillo, en el caso de las uniones de hecho la expectativa es que el reconocimiento de derechos que está pendiente inicie desde que se publique la sentencia, sin un plazo de espera.

    The comprehensive ruling of Sala IV that guarantees de facto unions between same sex couples in Costa Rica is to be ready next Friday, 11 January 2019.

    On 8 August 2018, (the same date that the marriage equality ruling was announced,) the justices resolved an action of unconstitutionality filed since 2013 and gave the reason to the lawyer Yashin Castrillo, rendering without effect the articles in the Family Code that prevented the recognition of this type of union. According to Castrillo, the court confirmed that the comprehensive ruling will be ready and will be released during the second week of 2019.

    According to Castrillo, in the case of de facto unions, the expectation is that the recognition of rights that are pending will start from the time the ruling is published, without a waiting period.

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    In Costa Rica, advocates have been pushing for marriage equality in a two-pronged effort, simultaneously pushing for recognition of both de facto unions and marriage.

    Regarding marriage, same-sex couples have already been marrying in Costa Rica since February 2018. From my notes, dated 1 December 2018, we have this:

    There are 14 same-sex couples who are waiting the 18 months to register their marriages, according to the Civil Registry. So, couples are marrying, (some outside of Costa Rica,) but the registration of said marriages at the Civil Registry is being held back until the final legalization is implemented in May 2020.

    Civil marriage in Costa Rica is a two-step process. In the first step, the contracting parties sign the contract to marry before a public notary. This step is legal, (and given the recent presidential decree, notaries can no longer be censured,) and can be accomplished right now. In the second step, the marriage contract is then registered with the civil registry. The civil registries are currently accepting the paperwork, but are holding it for processing until after marriage equality has been implemented (but in the interval, the marriages are still legal from the date the first step has been completed).

    Regarding de facto unions, from 2013, we have this:

    Costa Rican lawmakers approved a bill on Monday (1 July 2013) that changed Article 22 of the "Law of Young People" according to the local newspaper, "La Nación." The text previously stated that unions were only recognized if they were between a man and a woman. Now, it states:

    "The right to recognition without discrimination contrary to human dignity, social and economic effects of domestic partnerships that constitute publicly, notoriously unique and stable, with legal capacity for marriage for more than three years." Of this, the important words are: " . . . domestic partnerships . . . unique and stable . . . for more than three years."

    In effect, after three years, said domestic partnerships will henceforth be recognized by the state as legally binding, equally valid as a formal marriage. On 4 July 2013, Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla duly signed the entire bill into law. By July 2014, a gay couple had already filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Justice of Costa Rica asking that their union be recognized under the new law (This appears to be the matter now ready to be ruled upon and announced by Sala IV).

    However, in the meantime, in 2015, from the "Tico Times," we have:

    A Costa Rican judge has just granted the first common-law marriage (de facto union) for a same-sex couple in Central America. On Tuesday morning, 2 June 2015, news broke that Gerald Castro and Cristian Zamora, a gay couple in the city of Goicoechea, north of San José, were granted a common-law marriage (de facto union) by the Family Court there. Along with this being the first legal recognition of a same-sex relationship in all of Central America, the decision could set an example for judges elsewhere in Costa Rica to recognize same-sex relationships and even adoption.

    Common-law marriage (de facto union) grants all the same benefits of a traditional marriage in Costa Rica, but requires the approval of a judge after the couple has been together, but not necessarily lived together, for at least three years (and applies to all de facto unions, whether same-sex or hetero). It guarantees partners the rights to inheritance, to social security and public insurance benefits, and to visit the other person in the hospital.

  • 10. VIRick  |  January 6, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Colombia: Another Transgender Murder

    Joven transgénero y modelo webcam fue ultimada a tiros en zona rural de Tuluá. El crimen ha generado conmoción en la comunidad LGTBI, ya que en menos de un mes, han ocurrido 6 muertes violentas de integrantes de la misma en el departamento (del Valle del Cauca).

    La víctima fue identificada como Jhon Edinson Girón, a quien conocían como Carla. La joven transgénero, que trabajaba como modelo webcam en Cali, fue asesinada en la noche del sábado (el 5 de enero 2019) en el corregimiento de tres esquinas en Tuluá.

    La estaban esperando en ese punto donde llegan, y le disparan de acuerdo a esta información. Allegados a Carla, de 23 años, señalaron que ella había viajado hasta el municipio del centro del Valle del Cauca para departir por temporada vacacional con su familia.

    A young transgender webcam model was shot to death in a rural area of Tuluá. The crime has generated consternation within the LGTBI community, since in less than a month, there have been 6 violent deaths of LGBT members in the department (of Valle del Cauca).

    The victim was identified as Jhon Edinson Girón, who was known as Carla. The young transgender woman, who worked as a webcam model in Cali, was murdered on Saturday night (5 January 2019) at the three-corner intersection in Tuluá.

    They were waiting for her at that point when she arrived, and they shot her according to this information. Those close to Carla, 23, said that she had traveled to the municipality at the center of Valle del Cauca to spend the holiday season with her family.

  • 11. VIRick  |  January 7, 2019 at 11:57 am

    St. Helena: First-Ever Same-Sex Marriage

    Saint Helena has seen its first-ever same-sex marriage, as Swedish national Michael Wernstedt married St. Helena native Lemarc Thomas in a beautiful ceremony on 31 December 2018.
    The event came just over a year since Governor Lisa Phillips signed marriage equality into law on 20 December 2017, the "Saint Helena Independent" has reported. Registrar Karen Yon oversaw the historic gay wedding on the tiny British territory, which is home to 4,500 people and sits in the South Atlantic Ocean.

  • 12. VIRick  |  January 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Colorado: Boulder County Courthouse Named to Register of Historic Places Pertaining to LGBTQ Rights

    Mark Holdbrooks was a 16-year-old gay kid in 1975, living in a small town south of Birmingham AL, and he was the only person who knew he was gay. When he read an article in "The Birmingham News" that Boulder County Colorado Clerk and Recorder Clela Rorex had issued the United States' first marriage license to a same-sex couple, he was filled with hope that one day he could meet someone and get married. "I couldn't tell a soul," he said. "I was a scared little gay kid. But I never lost hope. Harvey Milk said you have to give people hope, and Clela gave me hope."

    "You're going to make me cry before this even starts," Rorex said as the two stood inside Boulder County commission chambers on Friday afternoon, 4 January 2019, to mark the courthouse's inclusion in the National Historic Register as an important place in the history of LGBTQ rights.

    Holdbrooks, who came with his husband Nick, presented Rorex with a bouquet of roses during the ceremony. A plaque on the Pearl Street Mall side of the courthouse gives it rare standing, along with places like the Stonewall Inn in New York City, where members of the gay community rioted following a police raid in 1969.

    Friday's event drew all three county commissioners, Boulder city council members, and Governor-Elect Jared Polis, the United States' first openly gay governor. "It's so exciting to acknowledge Boulder County's role in the history of the equality movement," Boulder resident Polis told a packed chamber after arriving for an unannounced appearance. "Clela was truly ahead of her time."

    In March 1975, Rorex, now 75, issued the first of a half-dozen marriage licenses to gay couples, before she was quickly shut down by an opinion issued by then-state Attorney-General J. D. MacFarlane that stated Colorado law implied a requirement that married couples be heterosexual. Rorex on Friday said she had no plans on issuing such licenses when she was elected and did so only after a gay couple came to her after being turned away by the El Paso County clerk in Colorado Springs. She sought legal advice from the district attorney, who saw nothing preventing same-sex marriage in state law.

    Rorex added that she faced opposition from the local Democratic party when she decided to run for county clerk in 1974, because party officials insisted that a man take the job. That lack of respect and equal treatment informed her decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "As a woman, I'm asking for my equal rights," she said. "How can I deny someone else? It just felt like the right thing to do. I've never changed my mind. All these years, I never wished I hadn't made that decision."

    Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, said Rorex is the epitome of an ally because she took a bold position in 1975, particularly for a straight woman. "She experienced a lot of hateful people when she started issuing those licenses," Moore said. "I know why I'm in the fight. It's for selfish reasons, not always, but I want my rights. … She had no dog in the fight. She stood up."

  • 13. arturo547  |  January 8, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Peru: Constitutional court about to rule on same-sex marriage (this month)!!!

    According to "Mano Alzada", this month the Peruvian Constitutional Court will decide if Oscar Ugarteche's marriage has to be recognised by the civil registry (RENIEC). According to this newspaper, sources close to the tribunal say that up to now there are three votes in favour and three votes against the case. Only there's a pending vote.

    In favour: Eloy Espinoza, Carlos Ramos and Marianella Ledesma.
    Against: José Luis Sardón, Augusto Ferrero and Ernesto Blume.

    Pending vote by Manuel Miranda.

    Let's cross our fingers and be positive because Manuel Miranda has previously voted in favour of transgender rights.


  • 14. VIRick  |  January 8, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Colorado: Jared Polis Sworn In as First Openly Gay US Governor

    On 8 January 2019, gay Democratic politician Jared Polis has been sworn in at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver as Governor of Colorado. Polis is the first out gay man to be elected Governor of a US state, and only the second out LGBT+ person, after Oregon’s bisexual Governor Kate Brown.
    The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus opened the event, with the stage decorated with a subtle rainbow and the slogan "Colorado for all."

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 8, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    New Michigan, Wisconsin Governors Sign Executive Orders against Anti-LGBT Bias

    On Monday, 7 January 2019, newly-seated governors in Michigan and Wisconsin both signed executive orders against anti-LGBT discrimination, as among the first acts in their new roles.

    In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order, ED 2019-9, which bars discrimination against LGBT people in state employment, public services, and state contracting. Whitmer’s order expands a similar order former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, signed last month with days remaining in office. (The executive order signed by Rick Snyder barred companies seeking contracts, loans, or grants from the state of Michigan from discriminating against their LGBT employees.)

    Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order against anti-LGBT discrimination in state employment and state contracting. Evers signed the order on his very first day in office.

    Michigan is one of 31 states that lack any explicit state law barring anti-LGBT discrimination, although last year the Michigan Civil Rights Commission affirmed that it would interpret the Eliot-Larsen Act, which bars sex discrimination in Michigan, to apply to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination.

    Wisconsin, on the other hand, was the first state to enact a law against sexual-orientation discrimination, but has never followed up with a similar anti-discrimination law barring transgender discrimination. Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would ban anti-trans discrimination, now pending before the state legislature.

    Incoming Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has also said she will sign an executive order against anti-LGBT bias upon taking office. Her inauguration is 14 January.

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 8, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    DC Mayor Will Start Issuing Marriage Licenses Herself after Federal Government Shutdown Stopped Them

    The DC Superior Court, which runs the DC Marriage Bureau, is funded by Congress and had to scale back operations during the shutdown. The DC Council and DC mayor have stepped in.

    On Tuesday, 8 January 2019, the DC Council tackled one of the odder side effects of the partial federal government shutdown, unanimously passing emergency legislation that makes it possible for couples who want to get married in the District of Columbia to once again get a license.

    The LOVE Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 gives the Mayor’s Office authority to issue marriage licenses, along with the court. After the mayor approves a marriage license, her office will send it over to the Clerk’s Office at the courthouse. The mayor’s authority to issue licenses will end once the shutdown is over, or, after 90 days, if the shutdown is still on-going.The legislation will have immediate effect.

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