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  • 1. allan120102  |  January 9, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Looks like the next session where the same sex marriage bill is going to be discuss will be in March.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 9, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    New Florida Governor Excludes LGBTs from Non-Discrimination Order

    On Wednesday, 9 January 2019, newly sworn-in after his victory over Andrew Gillum in the Florida gubernatorial race, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order ensuring non-discrimination in state employment and state contracting, but the directive notably excludes LGBT people.

    The order DeSantis signed, Executive Order No. 19-10, is titled “Reaffirming Commitment to Diversity in Government.” Although the directive prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, martial status, and disability, it says nothing about sexual orientation or gender identity.

    DeSantis’ order stands in contrast to very recent actions from other governors. Newly-seated Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, both Democrats, signed LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination orders this week as among their first acts in office.

  • 3. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 13, 2019 at 3:28 am

    What else could you expect from an intentionally ignorant homophob? No surprise here!

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 9, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Algeria: LGBT Fans Mourn Folk Singer's Sudden Death

    LGBT fans of rai, an Algerian folk music genre, are mourning the death of singer Houari Manar, whose real name was Houari El Madani. He died on 7 January 2019, following complications during a cosmetic surgery, according to the "Huffington Post Maghreb."
    The singer was popular in his native country and in neighboring Mediterranean countries, including France, where he lived as a young boy before permanently moving to Algeria to pursue a music career in the rai genre.

    In an obituary published in the local news outlet "Le Courrier del l’Atlas," Houari Manar was remembered as a talented, generous man. LGBT fans of his music mourned his passing, while other fans condemned those who were making fun of his death, speculating on his sexuality.

    “Community LGBTQI Algeria is in mourning tonight, as rai singer Houari Manar is no longer. He was the target of the worst homophobic insults and the victim of a cowardly boycott,” journalist Zak Ostmane tweeted. Houari Manar had never publicly come out as gay, as homosexual acts are illegal in Algeria and punishable with up to three years in prison.

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 9, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    City of Denver Votes to Ban "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    Just as the state of Colorado was inaugurating its first gay governor, the Denver City Council, on Monday, 7 January 2019, was moving LGBTQ equality forward by banning "conversion therapy" for minors by practicing, state-licensed therapists.

    A news release from the city said that the ban, which was passed unanimously, “will protect LGBTQ+ youth from dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

  • 6. VIRick  |  January 9, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Three Lawsuits Filed Over Partial Government Shutdown

    Washington — Lawsuits filed by federal employees forced to work without pay are stacking up as the partial shutdown grinds on, even as the government is still calculating how much money it owes workers who sued during the last major shutdown in 2013. Three lawsuits have now been filed to date over the most recent shutdown, which began in late December. In two cases, federal employees classified as "excepted," which means they still have to work without pay, allege the government is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, which lays out the rules for how employers must pay employees. The third case, a broader constitutional challenge to requiring workers to be on the job without pay, was filed Wednesday, 9 January 2019.

    During the 2013 shutdown, which lasted 16 days, federal employees sued as well. The case, "Martin v. USA," provides a roadmap for how these new cases could play out — and how long it could take. The federal workers in the Martin case won, and a judge in 2017 ordered the federal government to pay damages in the amount of minimum wages and overtime the workers weren't paid at the time, in addition to backpay they already received.

    According to a report filed in court on 17 December 2018, the Justice Department is still working with federal agencies to pull payroll data needed to figure out how much each individual employee involved in the Martin case should receive. More than 24,000 workers opted to participate in the case, although not all may be eligible for an award.

    After the 2013 shutdown ended, Congress passed legislation to reimburse federal employees for missed pay. But a judge ruled that the government still separately owed workers damages for violating federal labor law. Heidi Burakiewicz, the lead attorney in the Martin case, told BuzzFeed News that the damages are for the harms of not being paid on time, and the inability to plan finances accordingly — things like late fees and interest charges.

    Senate Democrats have estimated more than 420,000 federal employees are working without pay during the latest partial government shutdown, while another 380,000 are furloughed — meaning they cannot work at all.

    Burakiewicz is handling one of the new lawsuits along with the American Federation of Government Employees. She told BuzzFeed News that she was optimistic the latest round of cases would move faster than the 2013 litigation, although their scope might be different depending on how long the shutdown lasts and how many workers are ultimately affected. "We litigated the legal issues in 2013, and they're identical," Burakiewicz said. "From my perspective, there are no factual differences that would bear on the legal determination."

    (to continue)

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm


    Burakiewicz's case and a lawsuit filed this week by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) were assigned to the same judge handling the Martin case, Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith. The cases were filed in the US Court of Federal Claims, which handles lawsuits against the US government that include money claims.

    The NTEU case was filed on behalf of two Customs and Border Protection Officers required to work without pay during the shutdown. They weren't paid for overtime work on 22 December, and, assuming the government is still shut down, don't expect to be paid on time for the two-week pay period that ended on 5 January.

    Burakiewicz's case was filed on behalf of two Bureau of Prisons employees who also didn't receive overtime pay for 22 December. As the shutdown goes on and more paydays are missed, these cases could be updated to add more plaintiffs and to expand the extent of missed wages.

    The NTEU also filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia claiming the Anti-Deficiency Act is unconstitutional. The law says that even in the absence of a congressional appropriation, the government can require employees to work in "emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property." The union argues this conflicts with the Constitution's Appropriations Clause, which prohibits the government from taking on any obligation to pay money that Congress hasn't appropriated.

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  January 10, 2019 at 2:17 am

    What Happened To Taiwan's Support For Same-Sex Marriage?

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Maryland: New LGBT Firsts in State Legislature

    On Wednesday, 9 January 2019, two Maryland lawmakers made history when the state’s 2019 legislative session began.

    State Senator Mary Washington (D – Baltimore City) became the first openly LGBT person of color seated in the Maryland Senate, while State Delegate Gabriel Acevero (D – Montgomery County) became the first openly gay man of Afro-Latino descent seated in the Maryland General Assembly.

  • 10. VIRick  |  January 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Israeli Medical Association Bans "Gay Cure Therapy"

    The Israeli Medical Association has banned its doctors from practicing "gay cure therapy." The body, which represents 90 percent of Israel’s doctors, has imposed strict new rules that would see gay cure practitioners expelled.
    The policy, announced on 7 January 2019, makes clear that efforts to change sexual orientation have been proven to be ineffective and can have a string of harmful effects. “A comprehensive review of studies and position papers from other organizations showed an agreement that there is no place for any treatment based on the assumption that homosexuality is a disease or a disorder that requires treatment.” The association continues: “The treatments to change one’s sexual orientation have been found to be ineffective and could cause mental damage, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies.”

    Although the policy statement has been praised as a welcome step, LGBT campaigners pointed out that "gay cure therapy" is more commonly performed by unlicensed religious practitioners, rather than by doctors.

  • 11. FredDorner  |  January 10, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Sounds like a direct strike against the JONAH quacks who had expanded into Israel after they were essentially shut down in the US (and subsequently found to be operating under a different name but at the same address and with the same phone #, LOL).

  • 12. VIRick  |  January 10, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Puerto Rico: Urban Music Singer Kevin Fret Murdered

    Puerto Rico: Asesinan a Cantante de Música Urbana Kevin Fret

    Kevin Fret sentó pautas al lanzarse como el primer artista abiertamente gay dentro del género del trap latino. El artista gozaba de popularidad en las redes sociales por su original estilo y forma de rapear en sus canciones.

    Kevin Fret set standards by launching himself as the first openly gay artist within the Latin rap genre. The artist enjoyed popularity in social networks for his original style and way of rapping in his songs.

    Per Samy Nemir Olivares:

    In Puerto Rico, Kevin Fret, 24, was known not only for his musical style but also for his image, as he was breaking gender norms and stigma about being gay, gender nonconforming, and expressing gender identity freely, and was doing so in a country where gay people still get mocked, bullied, and killed. Early this morning, 10 January 2019, the singer was shot eight times while riding a motorcycle in a busy area of San Juan (a la Avenida Eduardo Conde intersección Calle Bellview en Santurce).

    Note: Partly because he was openly gay, Kevin Fret carried androgynous queerness to new extremes, well beyond the questioning androgyny established by the late Mexican divo and idol, Juan Gabriel. Both citations feature photos of Kevin Fret in his many guises, ranging from super-femme diva to hot twinkish punk.

    In the video, "Diferente," with Mike Duran, Kevin is the flamboyant one with the blue hair and eyelashes, while in "Soy Así" (I Am So)(I'm Like This), he tries to present a rather surreal, punkish explanation which is somewhat less than perfectly believable.

    The "Washington Blade" has published an excellent, detailed tribute to Kevin Fret:

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 11, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Equality Virginia Launches LGBT Rights Campaign

    On Friday, 11 January 2019, Equality Virginia launched a new month-long messaging campaign to raise awareness of the fact that one can be fired in Virginia because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The campaign will come in the form of a series of billboards that read, “Someone you know is gay . . . They can be fired for who they are.”

    There are currently no statewide protections for LGBT people in housing or employment in Virginia. For the past three years, the Virginia Senate has passed bills that would establish protections in both of these areas. However, none of these bills have been approved by the House of Delegates. In the 2018 legislative session, House Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) prevented a vote on nondiscrimination legislation that would have passed with bipartisan support.

    Equality Virginia is working with Attorney-General Mark Herring to pass protections this year in both the Senate and the House. The organization remains optimistic about this possibility.

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Governor of Sinaloa on 2017 Marriage Equality Accord Signed with CONAPRED

    Quirino Ordaz, Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Sinaloa, a Tiago Ventura:

    Tiene que transcurrir el proceso legal normal, como cualquier otro convenio firmado y en proceso legal, seguramente se logrará el objetivo del matrimonio igualitario. De todos modos voy a pedir que se revise en que punto está actualmente y vemos la audiencia.

    Quirino Ordaz, Constitutional Governor of the State of Sinaloa, to Tiago Ventura:

    The normal legal process has to pass, like any other agreement signed and in legal process, the goal of marriage equality will surely be achieved. Anyway, I'm going to ask you to review at what point you are currently and we will see the hearing.

    In reply to a question, Tiago Ventura states to Frente Queretano por el DNDEL:

    Contesta sobre el convenio que firmó en marzo del 2017 con Conapred sobre el Matrimonio Igualitario Ya.

    He answers about the agreement he signed in March 2017 with Conapred on Marriage Equality Now.

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