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

UPDATE 1/31: The DC Circuit has issued an order in the challenge to the ban on transgender military servicemembers which extends the time to file a request for rehearing and the time to issue the mandate. The deadline for both was extended by 21 days. The DC Circuit had earlier upheld the ban. This order means the district court injunction will be in place for a longer period of time, since the mandate is the final ruling that would issue in the case:


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 29, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Chiba, Japan, Inaugurates Partnership System for Gay, De Facto Couples

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Chiba – A ceremony was held here on 29 January 2019 for Japan’s first partnership system that includes both sexual-minority and opposite-sex couples, the Chiba city government said. Six couples submitted written oaths to show they are life partners and thus received partnership certificates from Chiba Mayor, Toshihito Kumagai.

    Although the partnerships are not legally recognized marriages, the certificates provide certain rights to the couples, such as living together in city-run apartments. Ryuta Yanase, 56, who made his oath with his partner, Satoru Ito, 65, said, “I was longing for the system, and I am very happy.” The gay couple moved to the city from Funabashi in the same prefecture in the autumn of 2018 after hearing about the certificate system. “I hope this society becomes a place where LGBT people are treated fairly,” Yanase said.

    So far, 10 municipalities have introduced such systems, while the central government remains reluctant to take up the issue of legalizing same-sex marriages. Chiba is the fourth government-designated major city to adopt the certificate system, following Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Osaka, and the first to allow (de facto) opposite-sex couples to obtain the certificate.….

    Note: Chiba is a city of over one million people situated on the eastern side of Tokyo Bay, immediately adjacent to Tokyo. It contains Tokyo's modern port, as well as Narita, the site of Tokyo's new international airport. It boasts to having the world's longest suspended monorail.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 29, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Costa Rica: Sala IV Notifies of Vote to Approve De Facto Unions of Same-Sex Couples

    Costa Rica: Sala IV Notifica Voto que Avala Uniones De Hecho de Parejas del Mismo Sexo

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    La Sala Constitucional notificó este lunes, 29 de enero 2019, a las partes uno de los votos que avala las uniones de hecho entre parejas del mismo sexo. Se trata de la sentencia 2018-12783 del 8 de agosto del 2018, en la que se declararon inconstitucionales, por discriminatorios, los Artículos 242 del Código de Familia y el Artículo 4, inciso M, de la Ley de la Persona Joven.

    La acción de inconstitucionalidad fue presentada en el 2013 por el abogado Yashin Castrillo. El plazo empezó a correr a partir de la publicación de la sentencia en el Boletín Judicial, el 26 de noviembre anterior.

    On Monday, 29 January 2019, the Constitutional Chamber notified the parties of its vote to approve de facto unions between same-sex couples. This is judgment 2018-12783 of 8 August 2018, in which Articles 242 of the Family Code and Article 4, subsection M, of the Law of Young People were declared unconstitutional for being discriminatory.

    The unconstitutionality action was first presented in 2013 by the lawyer, Yashin Castrillo. The term began to run from the date of publication of the judgment in the Judicial Bulletin, on 26 November 2018.

    Note: Thus, the Constitutional Court of Costa Rica has approved de facto unions for same-sex couples, a matter which is in addition to their separate ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, judgment 2018-12782.

    Additional note: The Constitutional Court of Costa Rica is making it increasingly difficult for the Supreme Courts of all the remaining Latin nations which are party to the CIDH accord, and the binding CIDH marriage equality ruling, from ruling any other way other than to rule favorably for everything, including marriage equality, same-sex marriage, same-sex civil unions, even same-sex de facto unions, recognized both at home domestically, as well as abroad internationally.

    The beginning of the end for Costa Rica, and now, for all of Latin America, occurred on 1 July 2013 when the Costa Rican National Assembly, under the deft guidance of José María Villalta, approved a bill that changed Article 22 of the "Law of Young People," according to local newspaper, La Nación. The text previously stated that unions were only recognized if they were between a man and a woman. Afterward, conservative lawmakers realized they accidentally approved same-sex unions by voting for the new bill that recognizes:

    "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."

    On 4 July 2013, Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla duly signed the entire bill into law.

    In that passage, the important words are: " . . . domestic partnerships . . . unique and stable . . . for more than three years."

    and means that domestic partnerships, whether hetero or same-sex, that have been stable for more than three years will be legally recognized and binding in Costa Rica as de facto unions, and will be referred to for all legal purposes as "unregistered cohabitation," or common-law marriage.

    Several same-sex couples immediately sued for recognition, Yashin Castrillo took up their cases, and today, we finally have the Court's ruling on the above interpretation, just as stated.

  • 3. VIRick  |  January 29, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Colorado Likely to Be State #16 to Ban "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In 2018, Republicans in Colorado’s state senate blocked a Democratic house bill banning registered health professionals from using so-called conversion therapy against LGBTQ minors. After Democrats flipped the state senate and gained total control of the Colorado state government in November, the same legislation is expected to pass both chambers this year and be signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis (D), the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States.

    State Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg (D-Boulder) introduced the measure on Thursday, 24 January 2019, and expects it to pass. So-called "conversion therapy" is opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association. A legislator in Maryland last year called the practice “torture.”

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 30, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Arizona: Bipartisan Statewide Legislation Introduced to Ban LGBTQ Discrimination

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On the heels of oral argument in a major case that could affect LGBTQ municipal ordinances statewide, on 30 January 2019, Arizona legislators from both sides of the aisle have introduced Senate Bill 1249 to update Arizona’s non-discrimination law to include protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

    Six municipalities in Arizona already ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including Phoenix, the fifth-largest city in the US. More than 3,100 businesses in Arizona have already voiced their support for LGBTQ inclusive non-discrimination by signing the UNITY Pledge. Further, 90% of Arizona’s top 50 employers include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies. But most importantly, the vast majority of Arizonans support the measure: A recent statewide poll showed support for inclusive non-discrimination at over 70% in the areas of employment, housing and public services among likely general election voters.

    Last week, the Arizona Supreme Court heard oral argument in "Brush & Nib LLC v. City of Phoenix," a case pushed by the hate group, ADF, concerning whether to allow a calligraphy and stationery studio an exemption from the City of Phoenix’s long-standing LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance. A negative ruling would undermine existing protections for thousands of LGBTQ people in Phoenix and could provide loopholes that would allow businesses to discriminate not only against LGBTQ people but also others currently protected under the city’s non-discrimination law. It could also have dire consequences for the other communities in Arizona with similar ordinances, Flagstaff, Tempe, Tucson, Sedona, and Winslow.

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 30, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Wyoming: Two LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bills Introduced in the House

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A pair of bills, one expanding the rights of LGBTQ workers by banning LGBTQ workplace discrimination, and the other designed to prevent legal issues by expanding parental rights for same-sex couples, have been filed in the Wyoming House of Representatives.

    But it’s now a race against the clock for the bills, which must pass out of committee before the end of the day Friday, 1 February 2019, if they have any chance of becoming law.

  • 6. scream4ever  |  January 30, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    A similar anti-discrimination bill came close to passing in 2015. If any Republican state could pass one today it would be Wyoming as it's very libertarian.

  • 7. FredDorner  |  February 2, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Libertarian like Liz Cheney (R-Bigot) who opposes the marital rights of her own sister?
    Wyoming only pretends to be libertarian. In reality they'll vote for the dumb bigot every time.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  February 3, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Wyoming anti-discrimination bill moves forward despite GOP opposition

  • 9. FredDorner  |  February 3, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Pretty much a guarantee that won't be passed by the legislature, particularly since the party opposes it (and because no Republican seems to understand what gender identity is).

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 3, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Wyoming: LGBTAnti-Discrimination Bill Moves Forward in House

    On Friday, 1 February 2019, a legislative committee narrowly voted to advance an LGBTQ anti-discrimination bill to the full House of Representatives, pushing forward what has been one of the more divisive measures in the Wyoming Legislature on the final day for bills to be worked at committee level.

    House Bill 230 is markedly different from other, more comprehensive pieces of non-discrimination legislation attempted in the past, and would apply only to preventing employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, neither of which is currently protected under state statute.

    The final vote was 5-4 in favor of the bill, with limited discussion among the committee before the vote. "Aye" votes included Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, Rep. Patrick Sweeney, R-Casper, Rep. Joann Dayton Salman, D-Rock Springs, and Rep. Jim Roscoe, I-Wilson.

    "No" votes included Rep. Jim Blackburn, R-Cheyenne, Rep. Timothy Hallinan, R-Gillette, Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell, and Rep. Cyrus Western, R-Sheridan.

    Note: Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, a member of the committee, is the first out member of the Wyoming House, as is newly-elected Rep. Sara Burlingame, D-Cheyenne, a co-sponsor of the bill. Wyoming is still haunted by the legacy of Matthew Shepard, and by the fact that they have yet to do anything to rectify the negativity generated against the state by his brutal death, whereas in the meantime, near-by Colorado has moved light-years ahead of them.

  • 11. VIRick  |  February 3, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Cheyenne Providing Full LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections for City Employees

    Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr announced full discrimination protections for LGBTQ city employees. The "Wyoming Tribune Eagle" reports Orr announced the protections on Tuesday, 29 January 2019, during her State of the City address to the Wyoming Legislature.

    Orr promised to lobby for statewide legislation prohibiting employers from making employment decisions based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of an employee or applicant (which she did on Friday, 1 February, before the House committee. See article immediately above).

  • 12. FredDorner  |  February 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Here's the latest news from WY which shows why this bill isn't going anywhere…..not only has the GOP rolled back LGBT protections and stripped the bill of any mention of protected classes, but the Senate leader has refused to condemn one of his GOP members who compared homosexuality to raping kids and raping animals when she was addressing a high school GSA club.

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Cook Islands: Select Committee to Discuss Crimes Bill 2018

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 30 January 2019, the select committee of the Cook Islands Parliament will discuss the Crimes Bill 2018, one which, among other items, would de-criminalize sodomy. Its members are: Matavera MP Vaitoti Tupa, chair, plus Tai Tura, Tereapii Maki-Kavana, Selina Napa, and Terepai Maoate.

    The full Parliament will discuss the measure in February.

    Note: The Cook Islands are a part of New Zealand, but New Zealand law only applies to New Zealand itself, not to its several outlying territories.

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Sinaloa: First Reading of Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Culiacán, Sinaloa – Después de cinco años en que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación declaró inconstitucionales y violatorios a los derechos humanos dos artículos del Código Familiar de Sinaloa y exhortó a que se legislara, este martes, 30 de enero 2019, en la sesión ordinaria del Congreso de Sinaloa se le dio primera lectura a una iniciativa sobre la unión legal entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Culiacán, Sinaloa – Five years after the Supreme Court of Justice declared two articles of the Family Code of Sinaloa unconstitutional for violating human rights, and exhorted them to legislate, this Tuesday, January 30, 2019, the first reading of an initiative to legalize same-sex marriage was given in the ordinary session of the Sinaloa Congress.

    Note: In 2014, Sinaloa was the second state of Mexico to have had its ban on same-sex marriage declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Subsequently, it then had its ban struck down more times than any other state,– at least 5 times, if not more, before I lost count. Without question, Sinaloa thus wins the very dubious "prize" for being the most intransigent of the intransigent states, as only now have they begun to move the required legislation forward.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 30, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Salina Cruz, Oaxaca: Marriage Equality Arrives

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Salina Cruz, Oaxaca – The municipal director of the DIF, Miguel Angel Zárate, respecting inclusion and gender diversity, confirmed that the upcoming collective weddings will open the possibility for same-sex couples to unite in marriage. He explained that each year February is the month for marriage. As a result, the municipal government of Salina Cruz will host the collective weddings on 25 February 2019, which for the first time will include same-sex couples.

    Note: The above is a free-hand translated summary, as the news source, "El Imparcial del Istmo," did not allow me to do my usual copy-and-paste. The article did not explain how the municipal DIF of Salina Cruz would be handling the legal issues surrounding their marrying of same-sex couples. However, since sometime in 2017, Ciudad Oaxaca, the capital of Oaxaca state, quietly invented an in-house work-around to skirt the legal issues, one which appears to involve the granting of an "instant amparo" whenever a same-sex couple would present themselves (by August 2018, 6 same-sex couples had already married in Ciudad Oaxaca for the year). With same-sex marriage now spreading, one has to assume that Salina Cruz, the second city in Oaxaca state to announce same-sex marriages, has learned what to do by following the same "instant amparo" procedure.

    In a state filled with hundreds of small indigenous villages, Salina Cruz is the third-largest city in Oaxaca, and is its major port on the Pacific side of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

  • 16. bayareajohn  |  January 30, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Just FYI, if a page blocks copy, right click and VIEW PAGE SOURCE. You'll find the text and will be able to copy it from there. You'll need to edit some HTML tags out before posting.

  • 17. VIRick  |  January 31, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Oaxaca: Statewide Call for Same-Sex Couples to Participate in Mass Weddings

    El director del Registro Civil, Christian Hernández Fuentes detalló que la entidad se perfila como la primera en la región sur-sureste del país, en la que durante la celebración del “Mes del amor y el matrimonio,” parejas del mismo sexo podrán contraer nupcias sin costo alguno y ser partícipes – si así lo desean — de las fiestas masivas.

    El servidor público indicó que aunque el artículo 143 del Código Civil, vigente en la entidad, establece que “el matrimonio es el contrato por el que un solo hombre y una mujer se unen para perpetuar la especie y proporcionarse ayuda mutua en la vida,” la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) determinó que el ordenamiento vulnera los principios de igualdad y no discriminación. De ahí que, sostuvo, en cumplimiento a lo establecido en el artículo primero constitucional, las autoridades judiciales y administrativas están obligados a velar por los Derechos Humanos, de tal forma que el Registro Civil garantiza la celebración de matrimonios igualitarios.

    De 2018 a la fecha, 10 parejas del mismo sexo (ocho de mujeres y dos de hombres) han formalizado su unión ante la institución. "Todas las bodas que se celebren en las 142 oficialías de la entidad serán gratuitas durante todo el mes (de febrero),” indicó.

    The director of the Civil Registry, Christian Hernández Fuentes, explained that the state is emerging as the first in the south-southeast region of the country in which, during the celebration of "Month of love and marriage," same-sex couples may marry at no cost and be participants – if they so wish – in the collective festivities.

    The public servant indicated that although article 143 of the Civil Code, in force in the state, establishes that "marriage is the contract by which a single man and a woman come together to perpetuate the species and provide mutual aid in life," the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) determined that the law violates the principles of equality and non-discrimination. Hence, he argued, in compliance with the provisions of the first constitutional article, the judicial and administrative authorities are obliged to ensure Human Rights in such a way that the Civil Registry guarantees the celebration of marriage equality.

    From the end of 2018 to date, 10 same-sex couples (eight of women and two of men) have formalized their union before the institution. "All weddings held in the 142 offices of the state will be free throughout the month (of February)," he added.

    Note: Christian Hernández Fuentes, from Ciudad de Juchitán, is the Director-General del Registro Civil en Oaxaca, at the state level.

    His perfectly valid line of reasoning matches precisely with what I have been arguing the entire time. He has given the green light to de facto marriage equality statewide, relying solely upon the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Justice to do so. Oaxaca was also the very first state in Mexico to have its ban on same-sex marriage be declared unconstitutional, a ruling dating back to 2013.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 30, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Kentucky: Kim Davis Is Still in the News Even Out of Office

    Infamous Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis had the full-throated support of Republican Governor Matt Bevin – until it was time to pay the bill for her lawlessness. Now, the governor’s attorneys are telling the court that the state should not have to pay for Davis’ decision not to do her job. Bevin’s lawyers say Davis should pay the nearly $225,000 owed to the couples’ lawyers who forced the clerk’s office to issue them marriage licenses.

    “Davis had an independent and sworn duty to uphold the law as an elected county officer. If fees are awarded, they must be the responsibility of the Rowan County clerk’s office, which should be deterred from engaging in conduct that violates civil rights — and leads to costly litigation.”

    They say that her “conduct that violates civil rights” was the reason why the lawsuits were brought, and that she acted without state sanction, therefore she should be held responsible. “Her local policy stood in direct conflict with her statutory obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified Kentucky couples. The local policy also undermined the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s interest in upholding the rule of law,” Bevin’s attorney, Palmer G. Vance II, wrote.

    In 2017, a federal district judge ruled that the state should pay the plaintiff’s legal expenses. Bevin has appealed that decision; a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in this appeal later this week.

    In the district court ruling, the judge said that since the plaintiffs had prevailed, the state must reimburse them for their legal costs. Davis' authority came from the state; she could have faced criminal charges for misconduct, and the state legislature could have impeached her. Instead, Governor Bevin called her “an inspiration… to the children of America” and the legislature changed the law to accommodate her. Therefore, the judge ruled, the state is responsible for her conduct. “Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky when she refused to issue marriage licenses to legally eligible couples. The buck stops there,” the judge wrote in his decision.

  • 19. davepCA  |  January 31, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    That's hilarious! I wish I could have seen her face when she read those remarks from the gov's lawyers. I love it!

    Although since the state supported her actions in numerous ways, it is clearly the state that should pay, and I would likewise love to hear how the court will no doubt remind the state of all the actions taken by THE STATE which 'violated civil rights and led to costly litigation'.

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 30, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    New Jersey Set to Introduce Gender Neutral Birth Certificates

    New Jersey is set to become the sixth US state to offer gender neutral birth certificates. From 1 February 2019, New Jersey parents will be able to choose from three options: male, female, or undesignated/non-binary.
    The Babs Siperstein Law, which was signed into law in July 2018, will also make it possible for transgender individuals to change their official gender without having to undergo gender confirmation surgery.

    New Jersey is set to join 5 other states which have already added the non-binary option to official documents, namely California, Maine, Washington, Oregon, and Arkansas, plus New York City and Washington DC.

  • 21. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2019 at 1:48 am

    From VIRick on the previous thread:

    However, while we're still on the subject of certified clowns from Texas, and noting that this latest anti-LGBT hate bill, HB-1035, is sponsored by Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), whatever has become of Tiny Tim Tinderholt (R-Arlington), the loud anti-LGBT, anti-abortion, serial-marriage guy? Is it even possible that Arlington sent TWO egotistic misfits to the Texas state House as reps? Or is Tinderholt too busy working on a sixth/seventh marriage to bother?

    Zedler's district includes only a few parcels on the extreme southern edge of Arlington. His district is mostly along the south central and southeastern edge of Tarrant County and includes the cities of Kennedale and the Tarrant portions of Burleson, Crowley, and Mansfield. Although Zedler can always be expected to support right-wing nuttery, he hasn't previously authored anti-LGBT bills.

    Tinderholt was reelected with only 52.5% of the vote, so he's probably thinking he needs to tone down the bombast. As far as which marriage the progressive polygamist is currently working on, I decided I've got better things to do with my fingers and toes than to try to keep count. I would just advise women that if they encounter him, they should just swipe left and self-impose a TinderHalt while they evaluate the wrongs they have done in their lives that would ever lead the algorithm of a dating app to think he could possibly be a suitable match.

    Another egotistical misfit who represents the far north of Arlington along with the HEB cities in northeast Tarrant is, of course, Jonathan "Former Fetus" Stickland (R-Bedford) who is proud of his successful fetal development since all of his subsequent accomplishments have been oh-so disappointing. Besides being anti-LGBT, he's also an anti-abortion crusader despite, due to his incompetence, having killed anti-abortion bills in a Legislature that passes such measures almost as surely as the sun rises in the morning.

    Stickland used to post in discussion forums with marijuana aficionados. In one such post, he responded to a question about marital advice with this gem: “Rape is non existent in marriage, take what you want my friend!” What a sweatheart!

    This past May, Stickland interjected himself in a city council race in another of the HEB cities, Euless. His reason? He opposed a candidate for no better reason than the candidate was Muslim. In the end, the Muslim candidate won by 37 votes.

    More below…

  • 22. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2019 at 1:49 am

    …from above

    Stickland has a much longer record of insanity. Texas Monthly has placed him on their Ten Worst Legislators list after each of the last two regular sessions in 2015 and 2017 noting that he is reviled as much by his fellow Republicans as he is by Democrats.

    Stickland won reelection by only 1,446 votes for a 49.8% vote share. As a result, he has promised to be more conciliatory and better represent his district, but don't bet on it. I don't believe he is capable of recognizing any sense of decency.

    As usual, I will keep everyone up to date on this legislative session and the clowns involved. The Lege meets in regular session for 140 days every two years, and this session began on January 8. Most bills must be filed within the first 60 days of the session, and that deadline does not happen until March 8. During that time, bills can't be released from committees to the floor of each chamber unless Gov. Greg Abbott declares the bill an emergency item. In light of this, March is when the fun begins, and I'll be limited to just reporting on the slow dribble of bills of LGBT interest as they are filed until then.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  January 31, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    "HEB cities"
    = Hurst-Euless-Bedford area
    (a cluster of three contiguous cities located northeast of Fort Worth)

    Not to be confused with H-E-B, which is a Texas chain of 350-plus grocery stores

  • 24. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Also, although they are only three of numerous Mid-Cities between Fort Worth and Dallas, they are united within the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District.

  • 25. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2019 at 2:54 am

    Rick also mentioned Loonie Louie on the previous thread. Granted, Gohmert is a congresscritter instead of a member of the Lege, but he's still worth mentioning.

    Earlier this month Rep. Steve King of Iowa was stripped of all his committee assignments by House Republicans while the House passed a resolution condemning his remarks because King broke the unwritten GOP rule that racist comments must be expressed with dogwhistles rather than bullhorns. Not all Republicans condemned King's comments. Gohmert vigorously defended them. Because of course he did.

    Justin Miller, The Texas Observer: Steve King Has a Friend in Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert

  • 26. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2019 at 3:01 am

    Meanwhile, in international news:

    Emily Schmall and Biswajeet Banerjee, Associated Press: Noted Indian transgender activist shakes up Hindu festival

  • 27. VIRick  |  January 31, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Virginia: Two LGBT Non-Discrimination Bills Pass in One House Committee

    Two bills that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Virginia made it through the Rules Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates on Monday, 28 January 2019. The General Laws Committee will now hear the bills on 31 January. The two pieces of legislation must be approved by this committee by the end of this week to be eligible to become law this year.

    Similar pieces of legislation passed in the Virginia Senate with bipartisan support 10 days ago. 2019 marked the fourth year in which the bills have passed in the state Senate. Each year so far, they have gone on to die in the House at the hands of conservative Republican leadership.

  • 28. VIRick  |  February 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Virginia: Republican Leadership in House Kills LGBT Non-Discrimination Bills

    On Thursday, 31 January 2019, Republican leadership in the Virginia House of Delegates removed two non-discrimination bills meant to protect LGBT people from the House General Laws Committee’s docket. The move prevents these pieces of legislation from getting past committee and squanders any hope that they may become law in this legislative session.

    The bills include House Bill 2677, which would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, and House Bill 2067, which would prohibit similar discrimination in public employment. Both bills moved past the House Rules Committee on Monday, 28 January.

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 31, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Arkansas Supreme Court Rules against City Ordinance Banning LGBT Discrimination

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 31 January 2019, in the case of "Protect Fayetteville and State of Arkansas v. City of Fayetteville," the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the city can not enforce an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, saying that it has already ruled that the measure violates a state law aimed at preventing local protections for LGBT people.

    The Opinion, CV-17-849, on the appeal of the lower court order denying a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the ordinance, is here:

    The Opinion, CV-17-873, on the appeal of discovery orders implicating issues of legislative and executive privilege, is here:

    Both were reversed and dismissed. And to be clear, "Protect Fayetteville," is an anti-LGBT hate group, seeking free reign to discriminate.

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 31, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Sonora CEDH Seeking Same-Sex Couples Wishing to Marry

    Per María Luisa Alatorre:

    Si son una pareja del mismo sexo en Sonora, quieren contraer matrimonio y no saben qué hacer, te brindo la asesoría pertinente.

    If you are a same-sex couple in Sonora, wish to marry and do not know what to do, I can give you the relevant advice.
    tel. 313 8101, ext. 405
    [email protected]
    Blvd. Luis Encinas y Solidaridad, Hermosillo

    María Luisa Alatorre is la Directora de Atención a los Derechos Sexuales de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos (CEDH), Sonora. (Director of Attention to Sexual Rights of the State Human Rights Commission (CEDH), Sonora).

  • 31. ianbirmingham  |  January 31, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    France introduces national LGBTI anti-bullying campaign in all middle & high schools

  • 32. VIRick  |  February 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Hong Kong: High Court Rules Transgender Individuals Need Surgery to Change Gender

    The High Court of Hong Kong has ruled against three trans individuals who want to change their legal gender without undergoing confirmation surgery. The applicants, who are known as Henry Tse, Q, and R, were informed of the decision on Friday, 1 February 2019. They have all been legally recognized as men by the British government, but are unable to have their gender changed on Hong Kong ID cards.
    Judge Thomas Au said that full gender confirmation surgery was the “only objectively ascertainable criterion” in deciding a person’s gender, the Hong Kong "Free Press" newspaper has reported. The judge said anything less than this would constitute “self-definition.” In his 59-page judgment, Judge Au rejected the idea of switching to a system of self-identification, a system for which trans activists all over the world continue to campaign.

    Lawyers for the three men said they would appeal the ruling, telling Hong Kong newspaper, the "South China Morning Post," that Judge Au’s requirement for the men to have genital surgery before changing their legal gender was “out of proportion.” In contrast to British laws, Hong Kong still requires full confirmation surgery before a trans person can officially be recognized as their gender.

  • 33. VIRick  |  February 1, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Tampa, Florida: Federal Lawsuit to Block Ban on "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    A federal judge in Florida says the city of Tampa can not enforce a ban on so-called "conversion therapy" until after a lawsuit challenging the law has been resolved. On Thursday, 31 January 2019, Federal Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone allowed a lawsuit to go forward that seeks to undo Tampa’s ban on the discredited practice, a practice which attempts (but fails) to turn LGBTQ people heterosexual or cisgender.

    The Liberty Counsel, a tax-exempt anti-LGBTQ hate group that viciously funds retrograde lawsuits “related to evangelical Christian values” (like the whole Kim Davis fiasco in Kentucky) backed litigation against Tampa, which in 2017 passed a city-wide ban on conversion therapy for minors.

    Sansone said the case may proceed on limited grounds for consideration by a federal district court judge. No timeline for the case has been set.

  • 34. Elihu_Bystander  |  February 2, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Tampa FL and “Conversion Therapy”

    Rick, have you been able to search this out in a little more detail? Did Federal Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone actually grant a temporary injunction? If so, on what grounds.

    To obtain a temporary injunction, an applicant must show: (1) a cause of action, (2) a probable right to the relief sought, and (3) a probable, imminent, and irreparable injury in the interim. Id.; Mattox v. Jackson, 336 S.W.3d 759, 762 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, no pet.). The temporary injunction applicant bears the burden of production—i.e., it must offer some evidence of each of these elements.

    How on earth does Liberty Counsel meet any of these tests? I certainly hope the defendants appeal this temporary injunction.

    In fact, I would strongly question: What is the concrete harm to Liberty Counsel the “conversion therapy” ban causes? They don’t have standing to even bring this suit.

    Thank you for bringing this disgusting suit to our attention.

  • 35. VIRick  |  February 2, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    "Vazzo v. City of Tampa," Therapists Suing to Block Ban on "Conversion Therapy"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 30 January 2019, in "Vazzo v. City of Tampa, Florida," a federal case in which two therapists, represented by the infamous Liberty Counsel, are challenging Tampa's ban on conversion therapy for minors, Magistrate Judge Sansone issued her Report and Recommendations on the therapists' motion for a preliminary injunction and the city's motion to dismiss. On both motions, the recommendation is to grant in part and deny in part.

    Because these motions were heard before a magistrate judge, these are not final orders. Either party has the option to object to these recommendations and then those objections will be considered by Judge William F. Jung, the district court judge presiding over the case.

    Report and Recommendation is linked here:

    — The plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction should be GRANTED to the extent that the City should be enjoined from enforcing Ordinance 2017-47 against mental health professionals who provide non-coercive, non-aversive SOCE counseling—which consists entirely of speech, or 'talk therapy'—to minors within the city limits.

    — The plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction should be DENIED to the extent that the plaintiffs seek to completely enjoin the enforcement of Ordinance 2017-47."

    Report and Recommendation is linked here:

    • Recommendation is to GRANT City's motion to dismiss the following claims:
    – Religious-free-exercise claim under the First Amendment
    – Religious-free-exercise claim under the Florida Constitution
    – Claims under the Florida Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

    • Recommendation is to DENY City's motion to dismiss the following claims (that is, the case should be allowed to proceed on these claims):
    – Freedom-of-speech claims under the First Amendment
    – Right-to-receive-information claim under the First Amendment
    – Liberty-of-speech claim under the Florida Constitution
    – Preemption claim; plaintiffs should be allowed to proceed on their implied-preemption theory—but not their express-preemption theory.
    – Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims

    The court has scheduled a two-hour hearing before Judge Jung on 5 March 2019.

    This case was originally filed on 4 December 2017 by two plaintiffs, Robert L Vazzo and David H Pickup, the latter already ridiculously notorious for suing and then appealing, appealing, and appealing every angle and every aspect of his losing federal suit against the California state "conversion therapy" ban. I am not certain how he suddenly became an entrenched resident of Tampa, with an established therapy practice there. In 2014, in "David H. Pickup v. Brown," the Supreme Court even denied certiorari on some issue or the other which Pickup stubbornly appealed to them.

    The docket and case history of "Vazzo v. City of Tampa" is here:

  • 36. VIRick  |  February 2, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Further research indicates that this lawsuit, "Vazzo v. City of Tampa," should be thrown out for lack of standing, due to the fact that neither plaintiff is a registered, licensed therapist of any kind with an established practice within the city limits of Tampa. I am not certain how the Magistrate Judge missed this basic point, but it is certainly one which would bring a quick end to this phony complaint.

    Here's what had to say in an article published on 14 December 2017, almost immediately after the suit was filed:

    The two therapists named in the Tampa lawsuit claim they are unable to take on new clients or treat current ones here who have "unwanted sexual attractions," Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said. He said both counselors have offices in the city, but the therapists appear to be based outside the state, with neither even being Florida-based.

    Robert L. Vazzo is a licensed counselor in California, Nevada, Ohio, and Florida. But on a website where Vazzo advertises service, he lists only Las Vegas NV and Culver City CA offices. Vazzo declined comment for this story, directing inquiries to Liberty Counsel.

    The other therapist, David Pickup, is licensed to counsel in California and Texas. Pickup is not yet able to practice in Florida, according to the lawsuit. But he already has clients "lining up," he said.

    Furthermore, many other municipalities/counties in Florida do not appear to be daunted by this lawsuit against the Tampa ban, instituted in March 2017. Instead, one after the other, they continue to pass ordinances banning "conversion therapy" within their jurisdictions. Again, from the same December 2017 article in

    In October 2017, Oakland Park was the latest city in the state to forbid the practice. While Miami-Dade rejected a countywide ban, Miami and Miami Beach have both instituted citywide bans.

    Later this month (December 2017), the Palm Beach County Commission will vote on an ordinance similar to those already in effect in several of its east coast cities — Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, and Delray Beach. (Subsequent to this article, the measure was passed. Then, even more recently, in 2018, the Broward County Commission did the same.)….

  • 37. Fortguy  |  February 3, 2019 at 12:24 am

    David Pickup has been mentioned on this forum from time to time since 2012 according to a web search beginning with Pickup v. Brown, a challenge to California's conversion therapy ban. In Texas, the "ex-homosexual" seems to pop up whenever some legislator wanted to pass legislation defending the practice, the GOP state convention wanted to endorse it in their platform, or pastors professing Evangelical Republicanity hold some conference about the dangerous progressive forces lurking in the world seeking to confuse youths about their sexuality.

    Apparently, irony is lost on anti-LGBT parents who want to send their kids expressing gay identities to an "ex-homosexual" whose name is Pickup. You'd think that alone would be a red flag and cause them to wonder whether that was his birth name or the name he gives prospective tricks at some cruising site.

  • 38. ianbirmingham  |  February 2, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    New Jersey becomes 2nd state requiring schools to teach LGBT history

    The New Jersey law was modeled after one that took effect in California in 2012. It’s one of several measures that the Murphy administration has backed or approved for LGBT rights.

    In September, New Jersey issued guidance to schools that were designed to promote transgender-friendly policies on the use of names and pronouns, participation in activities, use of facilities and student records.

    One of 11 states with similar policies, New Jersey's is considered the most progressive because it tells schools that gender identity should rest with the student and that parents don't need to be notified.

    And on Feb. 1, a law went into effect that lets transgender residents more easily change the gender on their birth certificates while also adding a third, gender-neutral option.

  • 39. VIRick  |  February 3, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Victoria: First Australian State to Ban LGBT "Conversion Therapy"

    Victoria is set to become the first state in Australia to introduce a ban on conversion therapy. Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria (head of government) made the announcement at Midsumma Pride in St Kilda today, 3 February 2019.
    In a statement posted to his website, Andrews’ office explained that his government “will bring in laws to denounce and prohibit LGBTI conversion practices, ending the bigoted practice that has caused so much trauma to too many Victorians.”

    Andrews – who has held the post since 2014 and is a member of the Labour Party – intends to introduce the ban after an extensive investigation was completed by the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC). The investigation found that those who had been subjected to conversion therapy experienced psychological harm and distress. The HCC recommended that legislation be introduced that would prohibit conversion therapy.

  • 40. Fortguy  |  February 3, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    El Salvador election: With a little over two-thirds of ballots counted, former San Salvador mayor Nayib Bukele of GANA has a commanding lead with 52.9% while Carlos Callejas of ARENA holds 32.3%. Hugo Martínez of FMLN is in a distant third place with one other minor party candidate further back.

    Bukele, a former member of the FMLN who was kicked out of the party for criticizing the party's leadership, must keep his lead over 50% going forward to avoid a March runoff. Bukele is an odd fit for GANA, a conservative party. Bukele is hoping to end the two-party dominance of El Salvador in recent years between the conservative ARENA and the socialist FMLN.

    Marcos Aleman, Associated Press: Salvadoran front-runner seeks to end corruption, violence

    Update: The link above has been revised to note that El Salvador's Supreme Electoral Court has declared Bukele the winner with over 90% of the vote counted. Bukele now holds just under 54% of the vote while Callejas has fallen below 32%.

  • 41. VIRick  |  February 3, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez, 38, is the son of Olga Ortez de Bukele and Armando Bukele Kattán, a renowned businessman and local imam of Palestinian descent. Nayib Bukele is the owner of Yamaha Motors El Salvador.

    He was first elected mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlán in 2012, then as mayor of San Salvador in 2015, both times as a member of the left-wing FMLN. He has just been elected president of El Salvador as the candidate for GANA, a center-right party somewhere between the FMLN and the ultra-right, retrograde ARENA, previously the two dominant political parties in the country. He assumes office on 1 June 2019, and will succeed Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the FMLN, an ex-guerrilla leader during the Civil War, as the next president.

  • 42. guitaristbl  |  February 4, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Soooo…good news, bad news or indifferent given how hostile El Salvador is to LGBT rights ?

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