Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

SCOTUS could decide whether to hear LGBT employment cases at 2/15 conference

Discrimination Transgender Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The Supreme Court has updated its dockets for three cases involving employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. They have considered the cases in several other private conferences, with no action taken as of now. The next conference will be held on 2/15.

The Court could grant any of the cases, and it takes four votes to grant review. At this point, though, any granted case wouldn’t be heard until the next term, beginning in October and ending next June. The Court could also relist the case for yet another conference or deny review.

The Court recently declined to take up review of the military’s ban on transgender military servicemembers ahead of the appeals court’s decision on the issue. They granted a stay of two injunctions against the ban, meaning that once a third (from a Maryland case) is stayed, the ban can go into effect. This means any petition for review in the military servicemember cases also wouldn’t be taken up until next term.


  • 1. VIRick  |  February 4, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Poland: New Liberal, Pro-Marriage-Equality Political Party Launched

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Polish politician Robert Biedron launched a new party on Sunday, 3 February 2019, called Spring (Wlosna). He promised to phase out coal power, end state subsidies for the church, and to legalize both abortion and same-sex marriage. He also promised to boost welfare spending in a program dubbed "populist" by his opponents. "I will be prime minister," Biedron told supporters at a rally in Warsaw ahead of elections this autumn.

    Openly Gay Politician Launches Progressive, Pro-EU Political Party

    Poland’s first openly gay politician has launched a new progressive, pro-European Union political party called Spring. Robert Biedron, the former mayor of the town of Slupsk, hopes to challenge the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party, as the country prepares for both domestic and European elections this year.

    The 42-year-old former mayor has vowed to introduce the recognition of gay partnerships, equal pay for women, and better access to abortion and reproductive rights, as well as universal old-age pension. He also promised to shift politics away from the church, which holds significant influence over the deeply Catholic country.

    Biedron also pledged to unite the country after the public murder of the liberal mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, in January, which raised questions over rising hate speech. The Spring party will run in May elections to the European Parliament and in Poland’s general election later this year.

    Biedron also launched Poland’s Campaign Against Homophobia, and in 2011 became the first openly gay MP for the Gdynia-Slupsk constituency.

  • 2. VIRick  |  February 4, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    El Salvador: Bukele Wins Presidency, Carried to the Front by Bipartisanship

    El Salvador: Bukele Arrasa la Presidencia y Se Lleva por Delante el Bipartidismo

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Nayib Bukele viene de una familia de cristianos libaneses, fue criado por una madre católica y un padre convertido al islamismo, fundador de la primera mezquita de El Salvador. Se define como un hombre de izquierda, progresista, pero no marxista.

    Este partido "derechista," GANA, que surgió como un cisma en ARENA, tiene por principios declarados: la familia, base fundamental del pueblo; la libertad religiosa, el respeto a la vida, y la igualdad de oportunidades. Sin embargo, sus parlamentarios han apoyado en la Asamblea Legislativa buena parte de las pautas de la izquierda.

    Dice también ser contrario al matrimonio homosexual. En un debate en la UCA, advirtió: "no pretendemos cambiar la ley en cuanto al matrimonio […] el matrimonio debe ser entre un hombre y una mujer, eso no quita la vida que cada quién quiere llevar." Y subrayó: "pero creemos que no puede haber discriminación," por lo que actitudes contra la homosexualidad deben ser "castigadas penalmente."….

    Nayib Bukele comes from a family of Lebanese Christians, was raised by a Catholic mother and a father converted to Islam, founder of the first mosque in El Salvador. Formerly of the FMLN, he defines himself as a man of the left, progressive but not Marxist.

    This "rightist" party, GANA, under whose banner he successfully ran and won, is a party which emerged as a schism in ARENA, and has as its declared principles: the family, the fundamental basis of the people; religious freedom, respect for life, and equal opportunities. However, in the Legislative Assembly, its parliamentarians have supported most of the measures from the left.

    Bukele also says he is against same-sex marriage. In a debate at UCA, he warned: "we do not intend to change the law regarding marriage […] marriage must be between a man and a woman, that does not take away the life that everyone wants to lead." And he stressed: "but we believe that there can be no discrimination," so attitudes against homosexuality should be "criminally punished."

    Baby steps, one step at a time.

  • 3. VIRick  |  February 4, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    In the previous thread, Guitar asked: "Soooo . . . Good news, bad news, or indifferent, given how hostile El Salvador is to LGBT rights?"

    The good news is that the LGBT situation in El Salvador should not get any worse. Plus, Nayib Bukele has now moved the leadership in El Salvador on to the next generation, the one who came of age after the conclusion of the Civil War (1980-92), the horror show which was fought between FMLN and ARENA. ARENA, in particular, of the notorious "death squad" goons, appears to be dying off and losing their grip, while fragmenting into multiple factions.

    Plus, I'll take my clues from Johnny Wright Sol, the openly gay political figure in El Salvador, of an even younger generation, who is also angling to place himself "in the middle" between the two old adversaries. He wants to become the next president after Nayib Bukele. And to me, therein lies the real hope for the future of the country. Take a look, but please do not drool (too much):….

    Obviously, after Costa Rica and Panamá, El Salvador will be next in Central America to provide for LGBT rights (and then marriage), but it will take some time.

  • 4. Fortguy  |  February 4, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Unfortunately, what will not be changing for another couple of years is the Legislative Assembly, a unicameral body of 84 members elected to three-year terms. The current partisan breakdown has a hard-right majority with ARENA holding 37 seats with the PCN holding nine more. The PCN is made up of the pro-military, oligarch-loving buddies fond of jailing and torturing who ran the country for decades before the Revolution.

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 4, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    One of my college roommates from El Salvador, in quiet muted tones, always talked about "las catorce familias" (the 14 families) who, prior to the revolution and civil war, ruled El Salvador with an iron hand, socially, economically, and politically, and then fought a bitter fight to retain that dominance.

    Also, if the previous link does not take you to some gorgeous pics of Johnny Wright Sol, try this one:

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 4, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Japan: 13 Couples Nationwide to File Marriage Equality Lawsuits on 14 February 2019

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Originally ten, there will now be 13 couples filing damage suits against the state at four district courts across Japan on 14 February, arguing that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of their constitutional right to be treated equally under law. We have already highlighted two of the 13: the already-married (in Germany) international couple from Yokohama, and the couple from Sapporo, both of whom have already submitted their marriage certificate paperwork to the requisite city offices. Here are two more who will be suing:

    Ryosuke Kunimi, 44, from the city of Obihiro in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, has been living with his partner since 2004. The two men say that they are "more family than partners," and that "together, they make one." A public school teacher, Kunimi is a pseudonym that he goes by as the man has for years supported other LGBT people and made safe havens for youth. He met his partner while participating in such activities.

    Both sets of parents are accepting of their relationship. However, Japanese society does not allow same-sex couples to use various services that are available to married, opposite sex couples, such as those related to inheritance and loans. What frightened Kunimi recently (and prompted him to become a plaintiff suing the state) was a newspaper article reporting that a local general hospital was limiting entry to the inpatient ward to patients and their families as a countermeasure against the spread of infections.

    Chizuka Oe, 58, and Yoko Ogawa, 55, who have been living together in Tokyo's Nakano Ward for more than 20 years, were the first couple to register under the Nakano Ward Partnership Oath certification program that started last year. But the certification does not guarantee the same rights as marriage, and only 11 municipal governments nationwide issue similar certificates. Oe and Ogawa believe they should have equal rights wherever they choose to live, and that prompted them to become plaintiffs in a damage suit against the state.

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 4, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    New Jersey: Babs Siperstein, Transgender Pioneer, Dies at 76

    Barbra “Babs” Siperstein, a transgender Democratic activist in New Jersey who is credited with taking a lead role in pushing for a pro-trans state birth certificate law for her state, died over the weekend at age 76, according to local media reports. Siperstein died just two days after the law, which was named after her, went into effect on 1 February 2019. The “Babs Siperstein Law” allows individuals in New Jersey to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without proof of surgery, and also offers a gender-neutral third option. The law was signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

    The first openly transgender member of the Democratic National Committee, Siperstein was appointed in 2011 to the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee and served there until 2017. Siperstein was a superdelegate for Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

  • 8. VIRick  |  February 4, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Mexico: Supreme Court Set to Issue Nationwide Ruling on Gender Identity as a Right

    Per Neela Ghoshal:

    Mexico's Supreme Court is set to rule this Wednesday, 6 February 2019, in a case from Guanajuato that might allow all trans people a simple, rights-respecting path to legal gender recognition.

    As background, a Mexican Supreme Court ruling on 17 October 2018 in a Veracruz case may prove to have broader implications for transgender people who want to change their name and gender on official documents. That ruling came in response to a petition filed by a transgender person from Veracruz who contended that in refusing to change their name and gender marker on their birth certificate, the municipal Civil Registry had violated their rights. In a ruling that was the first of its kind in Mexico, the Supreme Court said that the person could change their name and gender marker on an official document through a simple administrative process, based solely on their own declaration of their gender identity.

    Veracruz’s civil code requires transgender people to go before a judge to seek such changes. The Supreme Court found that this requirement constituted discrimination on the basis of gender identity, given that Civil Registries were making other substantive changes to identity documents without requiring a court ruling. This case may seem at first glance to resolve a minor, technical issue, and its reach is limited. The case was filed as a request for an amparo, or injunction, from the Supreme Court, meaning that its outcome only affects the petitioner. The Civil Registry in Veracruz could still turn away the next person who seeks to modify their documents, setting in motion another legal challenge. And the case has no immediate impact at all on other registries throughout the country.

    But the ruling sends an encouraging signal that authorities who try to defend these policies in court are likely to be fighting a losing battle. Another case now before the Supreme Court has wider-reaching implications, as the court will now be ruling on contradictory judgments from circuit courts in different states on legal gender recognition.

    In repeated cases litigated by the local organization, Amicus, the Guanajuato circuit courts have refused to provide an administrative path to gender recognition. On the other hand, a circuit court in Baja California has ruled that people have the right to change their gender markers in Civil Registries. The upcoming ruling, to address the two conflicting sets of jurisprudence, will be binding on all lower courts – and the Veracruz case gives a promising indication of the Supreme Court’s thinking.

    The Veracruz ruling emphasizes that the right to legal gender recognition is protected by both the American Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution. Gender recognition creates the conditions to guarantee “the free development of personality, the right to identity, the right to privacy, the recognition of legal personality and the right to name,” the court said. It added that changing one’s gender markers should not require medical or psychological evaluations or evidence of surgery or hormones, the ruling states, and changes should be confidential and expedited.

    The Veracruz ruling also cites the groundbreaking January 2018 Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) advisory opinion, which maintained that states are obligated under the American Convention to establish efficient, inexpensive, and straightforward legal gender recognition procedures based solely on the “the free and autonomous decision of each person” and that forcing transgender people to argue for a change in gender markers before a judge would constitute an “excessive limit” on their rights.

  • 9. Fortguy  |  February 5, 2019 at 1:50 am

    Mathew Daly, Associated Press: Remarks by Trump judicial pick on date rape, race draw fire

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberal activists are targeting President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on a high-profile appeals court, citing what they call her extreme views on race, sexual assault and LGBT rights.

    Trump nominated Neomi Rao for a seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit left vacant when Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court. She currently serves as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where she plays key role in Trump’s efforts to roll back federal rules and regulations.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to consider Rao’s nomination at a hearing Tuesday.

    Rao, 45, worked in the George W. Bush White House but has never tried a case in court.

    Critics have seized on her college writings in which she criticized affirmative action, suggested that intoxicated women were partly responsible for date rape and said LGBT rights were part of a “trendy” political movement. The 1995 Yale graduate also faulted environmental groups that “accept issues such as global warming as truth with no reference to the prevailing scientific doubts.”

    Dan Goldberg, legal director of the left-leaning Alliance for Justice, called Rao’s writings “deeply troubling,” especially on sexual assault.

    “They are vile, they are terrible and she has never disavowed those views,” he said.

    Goldberg and other critics said Rao’s writings, in Yale’s college newspaper and in other publications, can be directly connected to her work at the White House, where she oversees Trump’s bid to dismantle rules that protect the environment, consumers and workers. Trump says the rules destroy jobs and stifle economic growth.

    If confirmed, Rao “will have power to impose these narrow-minded views for decades and turn back the clock and destroy rights and protections that millions of Americans rely on,” Goldberg said.

    Shiwali Patel, senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, called Rao a “rape apologist” and said her promotion to the D.C-based appeals court, widely viewed as the nation’s second-most important court, would endanger women.

    Rao’s nomination is particularly troubling since it comes just a few months after sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh in hearings that riveted the country, Patel said.

    “Barely a few months after the country heard from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, a rape apologist could potentially fill his seat on the D.C. Circuit,” she said.

    In a 1994 opinion column, Rao wrote: “Unless someone made her drinks undetectably strong or forced them down her throat, a woman, like a man, decides when and how much to drink. And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was a part of her choice.”

    A good way to avoid a potential rape “is to stay reasonably sober,” Rao added.

    She also said Yale has “dedicated itself to a relatively firm meritocracy, which drops its standards only for a few minorities, some legacies and a football player here or there.”

    More below…

  • 10. Fortguy  |  February 5, 2019 at 1:51 am

    …from above

    And she said a decades-long struggle for LGBT rights was part of “trendy political movements” that “have only recently added sexuality to the standard checklist of traits requiring tolerance.”

    California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, focused on Rao’s role at the White House.

    “Neomi Rao has led the Trump administration’s efforts to abolish regulations protecting consumers, the environment and students,” Feinstein said in a statement Monday. One rule in particular, to increase fuel economy standards for cars, is based on a law Feinstein co-authored.

    “Not only did Rao advance a flawed justification for freezing those standards, she indicated she would rule against an agency’s ability to write the standards,” Feinstein said.

    Senate Republicans pushed back against Rao’s critics, saying her college writings are not outside the mainstream. GOP staffers circulated a series of articles by female writers, including a 2013 column in the online magazine Slate by Emily Yoffe.

    “Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice,” Yoffe wrote. “But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.”

    Democrats also were expected to focus on Rao’s comments indicating she would have voted to overturn the Affordable Care Act and her view that the president should be able to fire the heads of independent agencies such as the Federal Reserve.

    They also want to explore her views on executive power and what, limits, if any, apply to the president’s authority over special counsel Robert Mueller, who oversees the Russia election meddling probe.

    The American Bar Association said Monday it has deemed Rao “well-qualified” for the appeals court.

    Nobody has ever called me "trendy" before.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  February 5, 2019 at 2:09 am

    Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press: California bill would limit genitalia surgery for children

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California doctors would be barred from treating or performing surgery on children born with genitals that don’t fit a single gender or are otherwise atypical unless it’s medically necessary or the child consents, under a bill unveiled Monday.

    It’s the latest effort by state legislators to give minors more control over their bodies and gender identities.

    “The fundamental premise of the legislation is that people should make decisions about their own bodies,” said Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, the bill’s sponsor. “In California we strongly believe that people are who they are and that we shouldn’t be telling people who they are supposed to be.”

    Doctors, though, said the bill may go too far in restricting how they can treat patients. The California Medical Association hasn’t taken a formal position on the bill but has “very serious concerns” that include the bill’s lack of a definition around when a minor is old enough to consent.

    “Our concern is that the approach in this bill may be being overly prescriptive and not give families and medical professionals the ability to take the specifics of each case into account,” Janus Norman, senior vice president for governmental relations, said in a statement.

    The bill focuses on intersex minors, defined as someone who is born with atypical physical sex characteristics, which could include genitals or internal organs that don’t conform to a single gender.

    InterACT, a nonprofit working to expand rights for intersex youth, estimates just less than 2 percent of the U.S. population has some type of intersex characteristic. That includes a broad range of characteristics ranging from an enlarged clitoris or a misplaced urethra opening on the penis to genitalia that don’t clearly match one gender.

    About one in 2,000 babies are estimated to have visible genital differences putting them at risk of early surgery, said Kimberly Zieselman, the group’s executive director. Unnecessary surgeries could mistakenly identify a child’s preferred gender or, in cases unrelated to gender, leave scarring or affect future fertility, she said.

    More below…

  • 12. Fortguy  |  February 5, 2019 at 2:10 am

    …from above

    “It’s not just a gender issue,” Zieselman said. “There are a lot of other harms that happen to many intersex people as a result of the interventions that are psychological and physical.”

    Under Wiener’s bill, doctors and parents wouldn’t be allowed to move ahead with treatment or surgery unless it is medically necessary, such as something that would prevent a child from urinating. Treatments or surgeries outlined in the bill include removal or reduction of the clitoris or removal of the ovaries or testis. It could also bar additional procedures not specifically outlined in the bill.

    If a doctor considers surgery medically necessary, he or she would need parental consent. If the treatment isn’t necessary, the doctor and parents would have to wait until the child is old enough to give consent and obtain approval for any procedures.

    The bill doesn’t define when a minor can give consent. It is intentionally vague, Wiener’s office said, and would rely on guidelines already in state law around when a child is able to consent on certain medical procedures. The California Medical Association cited that as a reason for concern.

    “There are also serious questions about the nature and legal threshold for informed consent as used in the bill,” Norman said.

    Under current medical guidelines, doctors form teams of experts, including psychologists or urologists, to evaluate each individual circumstance. Considering the physical and emotional health of the future child is a key piece of the evaluation, Norman said.

    Under the bill, doctors could not be criminally held responsible if they violate the law but could be disciplined by the state’s medical board.

    Wiener said his office will work with the medical association if it has constructive feedback.

  • 13. VIRick  |  February 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Aguascalientes: 23 Same-Sex Couples Married in 2018

    Aguascalientes: Se Casaron 23 Parejas del Mismo Sexo en 2018

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A pesar de que avanzan políticas discriminatorias contra la población de la diversidad sexual en el Congreso del Estado, en 2018 se realizaron mediante amparo 23 matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo en el Registro Civil de Aguascalientes.

    Aunque en Aguascalientes no está permitido el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo por vía civil, desde el 12 de junio de 2015, se emitió la jurisprudencia 43-2015 que obliga a todos los jueces (federales) a seguir este criterio favorable en todos los amparos que se interpongan, en cualquier parte del país, y en donde aún no están legalizados este tipo de matrimonios.

    Despite the fact that discriminatory policies against the sexual diversity population are advancing in the State Congress, in 2018, 23 marriages between same sex couples took place at the Civil Registry of Aguascalientes.

    Although marriage between persons of the same sex is not allowed by the civil law in Aguascalientes, jurisprudence 43-2015 was issued on 12 June 2015, obligating all (federal) judges to follow this favorable criterion whenever amparos are filed, in any part of the country, and wherever this type of marriage is still not yet legalized.

    NOTE: From tomorrow, 6 February 2019, with the anticipated jurisprudential ruling from Mexico's Supreme Court, this same procedure, binding federal judges to favorably grant amparo requests, as mentioned in the paragraph above pertaining to marriages between same-sex couples, will also apply whenever anyone, nationwide, who upon administrative self-declaration, requests to change the gender markers on any/all of their official documents.

    FURTHER NOTE: Over 3 1/2 years after the jurisprudential ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, only 13 of Mexico's 32 jurisdictions have changed their laws to comply (or had them forcibly changed by the Supreme Court in order to bring them into compliance). As for administrative self-declaration of gender identity, at this very moment, anticipating tomorrow's ruling, only 4 of the 32 would already be in compliance: CDMX, Coahuila, Michoacán, and Nayarit. Those 4 will already correct the gender marker and administratively process the correction(s) on any official identity document presented to them (in person) from anywhere in Mexico. The remaining 28 will not. However, from tomorrow, federal judges in those 28 jurisdictions will be bound to grant amparo requests to effect such changes, forcing the civil registries to comply, one case at a time, just like with marriage equality in the remaining 19 recalcitrant states.

  • 14. VIRick  |  February 5, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Costa Rica: Directive Allows Same-Sex Couples to Opt for Housing Allowance

    Costa Rica: Directriz Permite que Parejas del Mismo Sexo Opten por Bonos de Vivienda

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Las parejas del mismo sexo en Costa Rica adquirieron otro beneficio este lunes, el 4 de febrero 2019, al ser publicada en el diario oficial, La Gaceta, una directriz que les permite acceder a bonos de vivienda.

    Para iniciar con este proceso, las parejas deben presentar ante el Sistema Financiero Nacional para la Vivienda una declaración jurada donde se haga constar que tienen, como mínimo, 3 años de convivir juntos (es decir, en un matrimonio de hecho).

    La medida se adopta para cumplir con las órdenes de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) con respecto al matrimonio igualitario, pronunciamiento que se emitió a inicios del 2018.

    Same-sex couples in Costa Rica acquired another benefit this Monday, 4 February 2019, when a directive that allows them to access housing allowances was published in the official newspaper, La Gaceta.

    To start this process, couples must submit to the National Housing Financial System a sworn statement stating that they have been living together for at least 3 years (in effect, in a de facto marriage).

    The measure is adopted to comply with the orders of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) with respect to marriage equality, a decision that was issued at the beginning of 2018.

    NOTE: From the above, even though the marriage equality ruling from Sala IV does not go into effect until 26 May 2020, in the interim, for a variety of purposes, the Government of Costa Rica has already begun recognizing same-sex couples as being in de facto marriage arrangements.

    FURTHER NOTE: Costa Rica, almost unheard-of in Latin America, is a country without extreme poverty nor extreme wealth. Perhaps one can begin to see why. Housing allowances for the poorer element (now including same-sex couples), based on taxing the wealthier element, is a distant pipe-dream in most other Latin nations.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 5, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Costa Rica: Judge Rules, First Same-Sex Marriage Officially Occurred in 2015

    Hoy, el 5 de febrero 2019, la Fiscalía solicitó el sobreseimiento de la pareja de mujeres que se casó en 2015, ahora será oficialmente el primer matrimonio igualitario en Costa Rica.

    Ahora, el Ministerio Público pide que se archive la denuncia contra Laura Flórez-Estrada y Jazmín Elizondo, así como contra el abogado Marco Castillo y los testigos de la boda. La Fiscalía solicita un sobreseimiento definitivo, es decir, pidió que esta causa se archive y no pueda ser reabierta en otra oportunidad.

    Today, 5 February 2019, the Office of the Prosecutor requested the dismissal of the case against two women who were married in 2015, now officially the first equal marriage in Costa Rica.

    The Public Prosecutor's Office asked that the complaint against Laura Flórez-Estrada and Jazmín Elizondo, as well as against the lawyer Marco Castillo and the witnesses at the wedding, be filed away (that is, dropped). The Office of the Prosecutor further requested a definitive dismissal, that is, they requested that this case be filed away (dropped) and that it can not be reopened at another time.

    Per Fernando Francia:

    Matrimonio entre dos mujeres celebrando en 2015 ya no será perseguido judicialmente. Un juez determinó su sobreseimiento y ordenó al registro civil que elimine las anotaciones para que quede en firme. Sería el primer matrimonio igualitario en Costa Rica.

    The marriage between two women celebrated in 2015 will no longer be prosecuted. A judge ruled on its dismissal and ordered the civil registry to eliminate the annotations in order to keep it firm. It would be the first equal marriage in Costa Rica.

  • 16. VIRick  |  February 5, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    New Mexico: Governor Withdraws National Guard from Border

    The governor of New Mexico ordered the withdrawal of the majority of the state's National Guard troops from the US border with Mexico on Tuesday, 5 February 2019, in a move that challenges President Trump's description of a security crisis. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the withdrawal shortly before Trump's State of the Union address. Her Republican predecessor deployed National Guard troops to the border in April 2018 at Trump's suggestion, and 118 remained there before Tuesday's reversal.

    "New Mexico will not take part in the president's charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops," Lujan Grisham said in a statement.

    She also directed National Guard troops from other states — Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin — to withdraw from the New Mexico border.

  • 17. Fortguy  |  February 5, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Meanwhile, the SOTU address was held on the same day as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's State of the State address before the Texas Legislature. Unlike his New Mexico counterpart, Abbot wants the state to throw another $800 million over the upcoming biennium at Department of Public Safety patrols in the border region under the premise that the feds still haven't secured the border. This is about the same amount that the Lege has funded for DPS border enforcement over the current and previous bienniums. The people who live along the border are not fans of the increased DPS presence, but their views don't count because, not only do most of them exhibit a suspiciously generous display of melanin, but also they're mostly Democrats anyway.

    During his speech, Abbott also laid out his "emergency" agenda for the legislative session meaning that bills addressing these concerns don't have to wait for the March 8 bill-filing deadline to be released from committees. Fortunately, none of these "emergencies" has anything to do with culture war issues such as bathroom bills or religious freedom to discriminate. Instead, he is focused on school issues, local property taxes which would not be an issue if he and previous legislative sessions had properly addressed school issues, disaster response because Harvey wasn't a sufficient emergency for a special session 16 months ago, and mental health because his takeaway from the Sutherland Springs church or Santa Fe school shootings is that crazy people discharge bullets from their eyeballs or something like that.

    Justin Miller, The Texas Observer: A Storm is Brewing in Greg Abbott’s Sunshine-and-Rainbows Texas

    Miller opens his report with this observation:

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott spent the first 15 minutes of his State of the State address Tuesday painting a picture of Texas as the Promised Land. A thousand refugees (no, not those kind of refugees) are streaming in to the state each day as they flee their liberal, high-tax, special-interest ridden, over-regulated home states. “They needed an escape. They longed for freedom. They wanted hope. They found it in Texas,” the governor professed.

    It was a bit much, but let’s credit Abbott for showing some gubernatorial restraint by not again declaring himself more powerful than Putin.

    Yes, it is nice that everyone in Austin seems to be toning down the rhetoric this session. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it lasts.

  • 18. Fortguy  |  February 6, 2019 at 1:25 am

    There is an interesting Arizona lawsuit seeking to require Martha McSally to face a special election before completing the remainder of John McCain's Senate term in 2020 based on Seventeenth Amendment grounds.

    Garrett Epps, The Atlantic: Martha McSally Should Not Be in the Senate

    There is precedent here. In 1968, the Supreme Court ordered New York to hold a special for RFK's seat after his assassination while in 2010, the Seventh Circuit forced Illinois to hold a special for Obama's seat. I wish this lawsuit were filed after Jon Kyle was first appointed to replace McCain. The article is a must-read.

  • 19. VIRick  |  February 6, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Kansas: Bills Introduced into Legislature to Ban LGBT Discrimination

    In the Kansas Legislature, at least 55 lawmakers have signed onto a pair of bills which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in housing and employment. A House bill authored by Reps. Susan Ruiz (D-Lenexa) and Brandon Woodard (D-Shawnee) already has 36 co-sponsors.

    Meanwhile, the Senate version of the legislation, authored by Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills), has attracted 18 co-sponsors. While neither bill has yet received a hearing in the Kansas Legislature, Bollier’s legislation is strongly poised for success in the Senate. The proposal only needs three additional supporters to pass the 21-vote threshold in the upper house of the lawmaking body.

    The hill is a bit steeper to climb in the House, however. Ruiz and Woodard need 24 more “Yes” votes to garner the 61 necessary for passage in the lower chamber. Ruiz and Woodard are the first out LGBT members of the Kansas Legislature.

    Senator Bollier changed her party affiliation to the Democratic Party on 12 December 2018. Two other Kansas legislators, state Representative Stephanie Clayton and state Senator Dinah Sykes, also switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in December 2018.

  • 20. VIRick  |  February 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Georgia: Transgender Health Care Suit Challenging Exclusion of Transition Coverage

    Per Equality Case Files and Jason Hewett:

    On Wednesday, 6 February 2019, at 10:00 AM, oral arguments were heard before Judge Clay D. Land at the US District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Athens Division, in the federal suit, "Musgrove v. Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia," a case wherein which a transgender man is challenging his employer's exclusion of medically necessary transition-related health care.

    Briefing on the motions:

    Blue Cross/Blue Shield:
    • Motion to Dismiss:
    • Plaintiffs’ Response <a href="http://:” target=”_blank”>:
    • BC/BS Reply in support of motion:

    University Defendants
    • Motion to Dismiss:
    • Plaintiffs’ Response:
    • Reply:

    Responses to order (here: for additional briefing on the issue of Eleventh Amendment immunity as to Plaintiff’s ADA claims
    • Plaintiff:
    • Blue Cross/Blue Shield:
    • University Defendants:

    The entire docket on the case is here:

    The lawsuit is the first such suit filed in the South and tests the limits of the increasing acceptance of transgender people on university campuses and in health care coverage. In addition, the suit comes as many federal protections for transgender people, including those related to non-discrimination in health care and employment, are being threatened.

    The suit asks the court to rule that denying a class of employees coverage for medically necessary care based on a particular diagnosis is sex and disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, Title VII, and Title IX, as well as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

  • 21. VIRick  |  February 6, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Mexico's Supreme Court Rules against HIV/AIDS Testing as Requirement for Hiring

    Per Suprema Corte:

    El 6 de febrero 2019, SCJN declara que es discriminatorio realizar exámenes de VIH/SIDA a empleados de salud como requisito para la contratación.

    On 6 February 2019, the SCJN declares that it is discriminatory to perform HIV/AIDS tests on health employees as a requirement for hiring.

    The entire ruling (in Spanish), decision 014-2019, from the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court, resolving the direct amparo 43-2018, filed against the current practice of the IMSS, is here:

    IMSS = The Mexican Social Security Institute, a massive governmental body that assists public health, pensions, and social security in Mexico, and which operates under Secretaría de Salud.

  • 22. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Honduras: Constitutional Chamber Accepts Appeal against Prohibition to Marriage Equality

    Honduras: Sala de lo Constitucional Acepta Recurso en contra de Prohibición al Matrimonio Igualitario

    Honduras: Constitutional Chamber Admits New Appeal to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

    Honduras: Sala de lo Constitucional Admite Nuevo Recurso que Permite Matrimonio Gay

    Per Rex Wockner:

    El escrito fue presentando por la comunidad gay, Arcoíris de Honduras, quien solicita la inconstitucionalidad de los decretos legislativos 176-2004 y 35-2013 que prohíben el matrimonio y unión de hecho entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Se espera que en los próximos días, la Corte Suprema, emita una resolución a la solicitud que presentaron este miércoles, el 6 de febrero 2019, los coordinadores de Arcoíris Honduras, Donny Reyes Velásquez y Alex Zorto.

    The written appeal was presented by the LGBT community, Arcoíris de Honduras, who request the unconstitutionality of the legislative decrees 176-2004 and 35-2013 that prohibit marriage and de facto unions between same sex couples.

    It is expected that in the next few days, the Supreme Court will issue a resolution to the request presented on Wednesday, 6 February 2019, by the coordinators of Arcoíris Honduras, Donny Reyes Velásquez and Alex Zorto.

  • 23. allan120102  |  February 7, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    I am not sure if you remember but this is the appeal that was first rejected by the court. Now that modifications have been made they have accept it. I am still pretty sure they are going to rule against us. The church has a lot of power and the church has state that if ssm is legalized they will demand the people to take to the streets until the law is repeal.

  • 24. arturo547  |  February 7, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Do you have any idea about the ideological leaning of each member of the Honduras Supreme Court? I mean, do you know how many liberals, moderates and conservatives are there?

    And, another question, when will they issue the final ruling?

  • 25. allan120102  |  February 7, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Yes Arturo, I do. The supreme court has 15 members distribute in its salas or chambers. they rotate every year for a total of 7 years. Of the 15 members 8 are conservatives and 7 are liberals this is a pact the liberal and conservative members of the legislative body do so a side has no total control of the balance of the court. As conservative were and are the majority when the justices were choose in 2016 they put 8 conservatives and 7 liberals.

    Anyhow the same sex marriage cases are in the constitutional court which is comprise by the 5 members, 3 conservatives and 2 liberals, but liberals just in name liberal justices in here are more like soft conservatives and I am basing this so far in opinions issue by this court . What worries me is that they are expect to deliver an opinion really soon base on what lgbt organizations in the country plus some clerks of the court are saying.

    this is bad news because like I was thinking and through a talk I have with members of the organization Artemisa such an important decision which would be really controversial in the country could only mean a negative decision, if we are optimistic we might get the court to strike down the civil union ban but no the marriage part Even the supreme court of Costa Rica took months to issue a decision and it was a long and divisive one so in Honduras we are not holding our breath but we are still optimistic, in any case a negative ruling will only push the lgbt community to appeal to the ICHR. Which base on the experience on CR will rule our way, but we are not sure how much time it will take to have an opinion deliver by them so probably a decision even a bad one by our court will mean a faster appeal.

  • 26. allan120102  |  February 7, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Here is the division of the court the 5 members is the one of the constitutional court. The blue color is conservative, red is liberal.

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Querétaro: DDHQ Issues Recommendation to Municipality of Querétaro after their Denial of Two Equal Marriages

    Querétaro: Emite DDHQ Recomendación a Municipio de Querétaro tras Negar Dos Matrimonios Igualitarios

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    La autoridad municipal cuenta con 15 días naturales para la aceptación de la recomendaciones. En caso de no se presenten las pruebas de que acrediten su cumplimiento, se considerará que la recomendación no fue aceptada.

    La recomendación se emitió el pasado 28 de enero 2019 en una carta dirigida a Luis Bernardo Nava Guerrero, presidente municipal de Querétaro, al acreditarse las violaciones por personal del registro civil.

    The municipal authority has 15 calendar days to accept the recommendations. In the event that proof of their compliance is not presented, it will be considered that the recommendation was not accepted.

    The recommendation was issued on 28 January 2019 in a letter addressed to Luis Bernardo Nava Guerrero, municipal president of Querétaro, after the violations were confirmed by civil registry personnel.

    DDHQ = La Defensoría de Derechos Humanos en el Estado de Querétaro (Querétaro State Human Rights Ombudsman)

    Lawsuits appear to be brewing in Querétaro to force marriage equality statewide in what appear to be two cases under contest between a state functionary and a municipality, DDH/573/2018 and DDH/571/2018. One denial occurred on 5 November and the other on 21 November 2018.

  • 28. VIRick  |  February 9, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Querétaro: DDHQ Has Complaints Against Government of the (State) Capital

    Querétaro: DDHQ Tiene Quejas Hacia Gobierno de la Capital (del Estado)

    La Defensoría de Derechos Humanos del estado (DDHQ) tiene diez quejas contra la administración municipal capitalina, así lo dio a conocer el secretario del municipio de Querétaro, Apolinar Casillas Gutiérrez.

    Detalló que el pasado 30 de enero llegó una queja presentada por una pareja homosexual por que le fue negado el registro como matrimonio; a partir de esa fecha, la administración municipal tiene 10 días hábiles para emitir una respuesta.

    El Registro Civil de Querétaro, desde que inició la actual administración el pasado octubre, no ha aceptado ningún matrimonio entre personas del mismo género, ya que se debe interponer un amparo ante la Suprema Corte de Justicia para que notifique a la dependencia que puede proceder con el matrimonio.

    The State Human Rights Ombudsman (DDHQ) has ten complaints against the municipal administration of the (state) capital, as was announced by the secretary of the municipality of Querétaro, Apolinar Casillas Gutiérrez.

    He explained that on 30 January a complaint filed by a gay couple arrived after they were denied marriage registration; as of that date, the municipal administration has 10 working days to issue a response.

    The Civil Registry of Querétaro, since the current administration began in October 2018, has not accepted any marriages between same-sex couples, since an appeal must be filed before the Supreme Court of Justice to notify the agency that it can proceed with the marriage.

    Note: This is pure obfuscation on the part of the new administration, as nothing whatsoever requires what is being claimed.

  • 29. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Tennessee: Bills Introduced to Allow Adoption Agencies to Refuse Same-Sex Couples

    For 2019, Tennessee becomes the fifth state with new anti-LGBT hate bills introduced into their legislatures, as we now have two new hate bills filed in the Tennessee General Assembly, both to allow adoption agencies to refuse same-sex couples on religious grounds.

    Republican senator Joey Hensley and representative John Ragan lodged one of the bills, SB-0848, which calls for adoption agencies to be allowed to deny placements to gay couples if it conflicts with their “sincerely held religious beliefs,” reports "The Tennessean."
    Another bill, HR-0836, filed by Republican representative Tim Rudd, also proposes allowing foster agencies to turn away same-sex couples on religious objections.

    In 2007, Tennessee’s Attorney-General ruled that there were no state statutes prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children.

  • 30. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    California National Guard Will Not Discharge Trans Troops

    One of the highest-ranking officers in the California National Guard told California lawmakers in Sacramento on Tuesday, 5 February 2019, that the state will not discharge transgender soldiers from its ranks — even as Trump makes strides in doing so.

    “As long as you fight, we don’t care what gender you identify as,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, who serves as assistant adjutant general for the California National Guard. "Nobody's going to kick you out.” he said.

  • 31. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Nogales, Sonora/Arizona: Berlin-in-the-Desert

    In his report on his interview with the Guatemalan congressman, Michael Lavers of the "Washington Blade" has also included a photo of the Mexico-US border taken from the Mexican side at the Nogales Port of Entry on 23 January 2019.

    The divided city of Nogales, Sonora/Arizona, straddles the US-Mexico border, with the larger chunk of it in Mexico. In the photo, the empty desert land, the wall, the concrete ditch behind the wall, and the electronic surveillance tower perched on the hill are all on the US side. All the people, houses, and cars, right up to the very border wall itself (which Mexico did not pay for), are in Mexico. And note, too, that the fairly up-scale houses climbing the hill in the background near the surveillance tower all have views over the border wall into the USA.

    Another view of the border wall, taken some blocks further west (same hill and surveillance tower are way in the background), shows both downtowns, directly facing each other, one on each side. But notice, of course, that all the fortifications are on the US side, and that vehicles are parked directly up against the wall on the Mexican side. The pedestrian crossing through the Nogales "Berlin Wall" is mid-photo, where the two adjacent one-story buildings are pressed directly against the wall. Near the Border Patrol vehicles, notice, too, that there's actually a second, lower wall on the US side.

    That multi-story pink building on the US side is an all-purpose emporium, just across the border street (Calle Internacional) from the pedestrian entry point, catering to Mexican shoppers.,_Sonora#/me

  • 32. Fortguy  |  February 7, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Andrew Hay, Reuters: 'Disgusting' razor wire must go, say U.S. border city residents

    The pictures in the Washington Blade and Wikipedia articles are out of date. The U.S. side now has ugly concertina wire added to the wall by military forces Trump sent to the border. The wire poses a public safety nuisance as well as makes the neighborhood look like a prison.

  • 33. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    OMG!!! What a nightmare! It makes the US side look like a high-security prison (or a concentration camp) where the inmates must be forcibly cooped up, as all of that ugly razor wire is on the US side. But that is the difference between a photo taken on 23 January 2019 and another taken on 4 February 2019.

    This view is looking west, right down the center-line of Calle Internacional, the once-broad boulevard that straddles the border, half in each country. The multi-story pink-colored emporium is on the right, and the single-story red-roofed building straight ahead is the US side of the pedestrian port of entry.

    The city of Nogales AZ is planning to file a lawsuit to have all that wire removed.

    And the very next Reuters article discusses the other international border with which I am most familiar, the Urena, Venezuela/Cucutá, Colombia, vehicular bridge crossing, which Venezuela has now blocked and closed.

  • 34. FredDorner  |  February 7, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    We really should be calling it "Trump's Iron Curtain".

  • 35. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    I have seen the original up close in multiple locations, all the way from Bad Harzburg to near Braunschweig, as well as in Lubeck, and in Travemunde. I have crossed through it between Austria and Hungary, and have peered at it from Finland in several locations.

    Previous to the display of concertina wire in Nogales AZ, the worst I had seen was wrapped all around the railway station in Sopron, Hungary, through which I had to negotiate (twice, as I also had to leave).

  • 36. VIRick  |  February 7, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Carrollton TX Passes Pro-LGBT City Ordinance

    On Tuesday, 5 February 2019, the City Council of Carrollton TX approved an ordinance to protect city employees and contractors against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    "The protections will also apply to city appointees to boards and commissions and to people who use city facilities. But the ordinance is narrow in scope; it doesn’t cover employers, landlords, and businesses that serve the public across Carrollton."

    The vote after the contentious discussion (hate groups from all over the state showed up to argue "the bible") was 5-2. Council members Mike Hennefer and Glen Blanscet opposed the measure.

    Carrollton TX is a city of 120,000 (#23 in population in Texas) straddling the Denton, Dallas, and Collin county lines.

  • 37. Fortguy  |  February 8, 2019 at 1:37 am

    This is a good first step. Once everyone realizes that the sun will still rise, the rain will still fall, and the birds will still sing, then maybe they can extend the ordinance to private employment, services, and housing. After that happens, and everyone sees that no Gay Gestapo has burned down the city's churches, then maybe they can go to the voters to enshrine nondiscrimination in a city charter amendment. Sometimes it takes baby steps.

  • 38. davepCA  |  February 8, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Or of course those who are 'concerned' about such things could just look around at any of the numerous places that have already enacted such measures and see that their 'sky is falling' scenario has already been proven to be baseless, over and over again, for years. Just as they could have done when the issue was equal civil marriage rights. Or just about any other issue that advances constitutional principles in the form of ANY kind of equal legal protections. But I suppose that would be asking too much of them.

  • 39. VIRick  |  February 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Edoméx: Deputies Analyze Legalization of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

    Edoméx: Analizan Diputados Legalización de Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo

    Integrantes de la LX Legislatura del Estado de México comenzaron el análisis en comisiones de la propuesta de iniciativa de legalizar el matrimonio igualitario, es decir, entre personas del mismo sexo en la entidad. Dicha propuesta fue presentada por la diputada, Araceli Casasola, del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), misma que prevé modificaciones al Código Civil estatal en la materia.

    Al respecto la diputada, Violeta Nova Gómez, del Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (Morena), planteó considerar otras alternativas para salvaguardar los derechos de las parejas del mismo sexo “sin tocar la figura del matrimonio,” proponiendo la Ley de Sociedad de Convivencia.

    Respecto al tema de adopción de menores por parte de dichas parejas, consideraron que es un tema que debe analizarse a profundidad y no debe tomarse a la ligera.

    Members of the LX Legislature of the State of Mexico began the analysis in committee of the proposed initiative to legalize marriage equality, that is, between people of the same sex within Edoméx. This proposal was presented by the deputy, Araceli Casasola, Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which foresees modifications to the State Civil Code in the matter.

    In this regard, the deputy, Violeta Nova Gómez, National Regeneration Movement (Morena), plans to consider other alternatives to safeguard the rights of same-sex couples "without touching upon marriage," proposing instead, the Law of Civil Unions.

    Regarding the issue of adoption of minors by these couples, they considered that it is a subject that should be analyzed in depth and should not be taken lightly.

    NOTE: If the state congress follows through with this second approach, that will give LGBT groups grounds for filing an "action of unconstitutionality" against the state, after which the Supreme Court will then force Edomex to allow for marriage equality, just as was done with Jalisco, Puebla, and Chiapas.

  • 40. VIRick  |  February 8, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Cayman Islands: Court Hearing in Marriage Equality Case Has Begun

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Denying marriage rights to same-sex couples is “simple discrimination” and violates rights guaranteed under the Cayman Islands Constitution, a leading barrister claimed Thursday, 7 February 2019, as a test case on the issue began in Grand Court.

    Caymanian Chantelle Day and her partner Vickie Bodden Bush are bringing a joint judicial review and constitutional challenge contesting government’s decision to refuse their application to marry in April of last year. The case, before Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, began in front of a packed public gallery that included supporters of same-sex marriage, as well as its most vocal political opponent, local legislator Anthony Eden.

    Edward Fitzgerald, QC, has been recruited to represent the couple, while government has hired Jeffrey Jowell, QC, to fight its corner.

    In his opening argument, Mr. Fitzgerald said his clients, who have been in a committed relationship since 2013 and have a 5-year-old daughter, legally adopted in the UK, had been “beset with problems” because of the Cayman Islands government’s refusal to allow them to marry, or at least to formalize their partnership through a civil union.

    For example, he said, Ms. Bodden Bush, a joint Honduran and UK citizen, has no official immigration status in the islands, as her partnership with Ms. Day is not legally recognized. Equally, their relationship with their child is not recognized by the state. Though they are a family unit living in the Cayman Islands, the state treats them as “legal strangers,” he said, denying them a suite of rights on issues relating to succession, immigration, insurance, and adoption.

    Mr. Fitzgerald said not allowing them to marry and enjoy the same rights as couples of the opposite sex, violates their right to family life and their right to freedom of conscience – fundamental freedoms guaranteed by Cayman’s Bill of Rights. “Most important, it constitutes unjustified discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation,” he added.

    The case is expected to conclude on Saturday, 9 February 2019. At that point, Chief Justice Smellie will adjourn to consider his judgment which will be delivered at a later date.

    Note on Vicki Bodden Bush's surname, Bodden. Despite the fact that she is not a Cayman citizen, every native Caymanian is fully aware that Bodden is a prominent local surname. As continuing evidence, the second-largest town on Grand Cayman is still named Boddentown. In the generations before the Cayman Islands became a mecca for off-shore banking and corporate registrations, there was a mass exodus of population out of the then-isolated, poverty-stricken islands, most of whose forebears are descended from Jamaica's light-skinned "free coloreds." In the USA, the largest community live in Tampa. Others fled to the UK, Belize, the Bay Islands of Honduras, and the Bahamas, where many continued to make a living from the sea.

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  February 9, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Trump's Federal Judges Will Make Sure Trumpism Is Forever
    – Or at least lasts for decades.

    "Who gets on the federal courts for life is high-stakes," she said. "Just ask the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, who have spent decades and lots of money placing people who are on their ideological page on our federal courts. That over 80 percent of Trump's nominees are members of the Federalist Society is no accident…And yet, only four percent of American lawyers are Federalist Society members.

  • 42. VIRick  |  February 9, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Argentina: Another Small Town Same-Sex Marriage First

    Argentina: Villa San Isidro Celebró el Primer Casamiento Igualitario

    Ley 26.618 de Matrimonio Civil (conocida como la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario) establece que “el matrimonio tendrá los mismos requisitos y efectos, con independencia de que los contrayentes sean del mismo o de diferente sexo”. Fue promulgada en 2010. Nueve años más tarde, el 8 de febrero 2019, en la pequeña localidad de Villa San Isidro, una pareja de mujeres, Manuela y Camila, se decidieron a dar el "sí." Es el primer matrimonio igualitario que se celebra en la comuna.

    Law 26,618 of Civil Marriage (known as the Law of Equal Marriage) establishes that "marriage will have the same requirements and effects, regardless of whether the parties are of the same or of different sex". It was enacted in 2010. Nine years later, on 8 February 2019, in the small town of Villa San Isidro, a pair of women, Manuela and Camila, decided to say "yes." It is the first egalitarian marriage celebrated in the commune.

    Villa San Isidro is a small town of 1200 people, in Córdoba Province in the very center of the country, 80 km. south of Córdoba, Argentina.

    Note: Casamiento = Argentine alternative word for "matrimonio" (marriage) and "boda" (wedding), combining the two concepts. I like this neutral word, and may start using it much more frequently.

  • 43. allan120102  |  February 10, 2019 at 8:34 am

    As expected the evangelical church had a meeting with all court justices and have order them to ignore the ruling of the Ich. This is not looking good.

  • 44. psicotraducciones  |  February 10, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    sadly they will probably ignore it, I think Honduras is way too conservative to expect the court to legalise ssm right now

  • 45. VIRick  |  February 10, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Juchitán, Oaxaca: Óscar Cazorla, Muxe Activist, Murdered

    Localizan sin Vida a Óscar Cazorla, Activista Muxe de Juchitán

    La noche de este sábado 9 de febrero 2019, fue localizado sin vida el activista Muxe, Óscar Cazorla, de 62 años de edad, una de las primeras personas en promover los derechos de la comunidad LGBT en el Istmo y fundador de la vela de “Las Auténticas Intrépidas Buscadoras del Peligro,” una de las mayores festividades de la diversidad sexual que se realizan a nivel internacional, hace más de 40 años, con la única finalidad de erradicar la discriminación y la homofobia.

    Según los primeros reportes, el cuerpo de Óscar Cazorla fue hallado sin vida en una recámara de su domicilio y junto a él una enorme mancha de sangre.

    On the night of Saturday, 9 February 2019, the body of the Muxe activist, Óscar Cazorla, 62, was found without life. He was one of the first people to promote the rights of the LGBT community on the Isthmus and was the founder, more than 40 years ago, of the spectacular performance group, "The Authentic Intrepid Seekers of Danger," presented for the sole purpose of eradicating discrimination and homophobia. It had become one of the greatest festivities of sexual diversity, one which had reached international levels and literally put Juchitán on the map.

    According to the first reports, the body of Óscar Cazorla was found dead in a bedroom of his home, next to a huge blood stain.

    Muxe = The transgender individuals of the Zapoteca tradition who primarily live in the Isthmian area of Oaxaca, more or less centered around the city of Juchitán. Óscar was the primary individual giving public expression to the Muxe cultural tradition, building it into a major spectacle, while, at the same time, for want of any other way of expressing it, becoming the "chief of the Muxe tribe." The Muxe tend to live together in their own separate villages (ejidos) within the much broader Zapoteca region of eastern Oaxaca. Many have reached out to assist the migrants in the "caravans" from Central America, particularly the LGBTs, when passing through the area around Juchitán.

    In the photo accompanying this news article, he is the seated individual flanked by two other Zapoteca Muxe.

  • 46. allan120102  |  February 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Breaking Edomex to vote tomorrow on a bill to legalize ssm. Hopefully it will be approve.

  • 47. arturo547  |  February 11, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    After centuries, another Mexican state will do it.

  • 48. allan120102  |  February 11, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Possibly Yucatan and Sinaloa will be next both are expect them to legalize it by the end of February to early March and if we are lucky SLP may be next as a bill is already on discussion and might be vote in the first half of the year.

  • 49. VIRick  |  February 11, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Edomex: This Tuesday Will Define Legality of Marriage Equality in Edomex

    Edomex: Este Martes se Define Legalidad de Matrimonio Igualitario en Edomex

    Toluca, Méx. El Congreso del Estado de México finalmente dictaminará este martes, 12 de febrero 2019, la iniciativa para reformar el Código Civil de la entidad y con ello legalizar el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, como se lo mandató la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación desde 2015.

    La Legislatura ha llamado a las comisiones unidas de Gobernación y Puntos Constitucionales y de Procuración y Administración de Justicia para que este martes en punto de las 11:30 horas se pueda dictaminar la iniciativa que presentó en septiembre pasado la diputada perredista Araceli Casasola, que no solo autoriza la legalización de la unión entre personas del mismo sexo, sino incluso a estas parejas se les da la posibilidad de adoptar.

    Toluca, Mex. This Tuesday, 12 February 2019, the Congress of the State of Mexico (Edomex) will finally decide upon the initiative to reform the Civil Code of the state and thereby legalize marriage between people of the same sex, as mandated by the Supreme Court of Justice since 2015.

    The Legislature has called upon the joint commissions of Governance and Constitutional Points and of Procurator and Administration of Justice so that tomorrow at 11:30 AM they can decide on the initiative presented last September by the PRD deputy Araceli Casasola, which not only authorizes the legalization of unions between same-sex couples, but also gives these couples the possibility to adopt.

    Per Diversidad Sexual PRD:

    Diversidad Sexual PRD is calling upon LGBTI activists, the media, and the general public of the State of Mexico to gather by the principal door to the legislative chamber tomorrow at 10:30 AM to back the marriage equality initiative that will be discussed by the legislative commission. (free translation of photo image)

  • 50. VIRick  |  February 11, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Mexico: Other Marriage Equality Up-Dates

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In the Sinaloa State Congress, Morena deputies claim the vote on marriage equality there is "imminent:"

    In the Yucatán State Congress, according to the president of the Commission on Governance and Political Co-Ordination, they will debate and then possibly vote to legalize marriage equality during the second half of February:

    In the San Luis Potosí State Congress, Morena, PES, and PT deputies have presented a united front to legalize same-sex marriage (and a collection of other initiatives):

    Other marriage equality proposals have been introduced and are being discussed in the state congresses of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Baja California, Durango, and Zacatecas, as well as that of Aguascalientes.

    However, in Aguascalientes, some ignorant ass (Aída Karina Banda Iglesias, the PES deputy who is in charge of the legislative Human Rights Commission) wants to submit the marriage equality initiative to a popular referendum. This plan has not gone over well with the local LGBT groups nor with the state CEDHA, and a lawsuit from both, challenging the validity of said referendum, may well be likely.

    Nuevo León and Tamaulipas will soon be dealt with by the Supreme Court, ushering in marriage equality by that means (and ditto for Sinaloa, if "imminent," mentioned above, proves to be less than correct. Sinaloa has been on "borrowed" time, having already been ruled against). Tamaulipas' time to act expires by April. A fresh lawsuit is also quite probable in Querétaro, filed by the state DDHQ.

    Within my knowledge, only 4 states have not seen any recent legislative activity toward legalizing marriage equality: Sonora, Baja California Sur, Guanajuato, and Tabasco. However, for the moment, Guanajuato, at 65, is the record-holder for most amparos issued by federal judges within a single state, beating second-place Yucatán. Baja California Sur has had fewer amparos issued, but due to the fact that several were massive collective amparos covering hundreds of individuals, BCS holds the record for most individuals covered by amparo within a single state, pushing it ahead of Tamaulipas, the state where collective amparos were first invented. An amparo's validity, once issued, allowing the holder(s) to marry, never expires.

  • 51. psicotraducciones  |  February 12, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Rick, Is it impossible for the Mexico Supreme Court to legalise marriage equality in all the states like it was done in the USA?

  • 52. allan120102  |  February 12, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Yes it is. This is because so the supreme court dont have absolute power. The Mexican constitution is made so the powers dont have absolute control over the other branches.

  • 53. VIRick  |  February 12, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    The Supreme Court of Mexico can not issue a blanket ruling like in the USA or like in most other nations of Latin America. Instead, they can only strike down unconstitutional laws one state at a time, once a case has been presented to them by an aggrieved party from the offending state. The best method is by someone or some entity filing an "Action of Unconstitutionality." This can only be done, however, when the state congress in question changes some other portion of the state's Family/Marriage Code, but fails to make the requisite change to any other matter in the same Code upon which the Supreme Court has already issued its jurisprudence (in this instance, marriage equality). So far, Jalisco, Puebla, and Chiapas were handled in this manner. Nuevo León is next.

    Another method is by "Five Resolutions." This involves the amparo count: Five consecutive rulings by the same appeals court, using the same language, on the same matter, results in the Supreme Court declaring the offending law null and void, while also usually throwing fines and penalties at the state legislators. Chihuahua was first, followed by Sinaloa, and now Tamaulipas.

    However, there's a very simple method to avoid all this (besides changing the state law to reflect the Supreme Court's jurisprudence). Any official anywhere in Mexico can simply declare that they are following the Supreme Court's jurisprudence, local law be damned. Civil Registrars in San Pedro Cholula (Puebla) and in Santiago de Querétaro (and in 7 other municipalities in that state) did just that, as did several in Tamaulipas. So too did the heads of the State Civil Registry system in Sonora (but who was quickly blocked by the governor), in Guerrero, and now in Oaxaca. But Mexico being Mexico, most officials will not jeopardize their jobs in this fashion by potentially incurring the wrath of some "higher authority."

    In the meantime, same-sex couples wishing to marry have several options. They can file for an amparo before a federal judge, who then must grant it. (Or, as was once popular, visit the travelling judge from Colima who had issued over 300 such instant same-day amparos, before we lost count, once amparos were no longer needed to marry in Colima.) Or, they can simply travel to another state where marriage equality is legal, and marry there. Saltillo, Coahuila, was been holding special once-a-month ceremonies for same-sex couples at their Civil Registry for years. So too does Cuernavaca, Morelos. Quintana Roo has developed an entire industry from it, now with strong competition from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit. One reason why Edomex (until now) has not generated more noise in favor of marriage equality is because most same-sex couples from that state who wish to marry simply ride the Metro into CDMX and then marry there. Any legal marriage performed in one state must be honored and recognized in all others.

  • 54. VIRick  |  February 11, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Nuevo León: "Action of Unconstitutionality" Up-Date

    Case 29/2018, an "Action of Unconstitutionality" against the state of Nuevo León, is now #118 of 242 pending cases waiting their turn before the Full Court (Pleno):

    “Artículos 140 y 148 en la porción normativa ‘el hombre y la mujer,’ del Código Civil para el Estado de Nuevo León, reformados mediante Decreto número 317, publicado en el Periódico Oficial del Gobierno Constitucional del Estado Libre y Soberano de Nuevo León, el día 8 de enero de 2018.”

    This case is now within the range whereby the Supreme Court could issue a ruling upon it at any time. They will strike it down. It is merely a matter of timing.

  • 55. ianbirmingham  |  February 11, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Unseating most LGBTQ House Members is an official priority for the GOP in 2020

    Republicans’ list of 2020 targets includes 23% of Democratic representatives but 63% of LGBTQ representatives.

  • 56. VIRick  |  February 11, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Arizona: Specialty License Plate Sales Fund ADF Hate Group

    Arizona residents have been inadvertently funding a "christian" hate group whenever they pay the fee for the specialty “In God We Trust” license plates.

    It’s not public knowledge that a large portion of that fee goes to Alliance Defending Freedom, and State Sen. Juan Mendez has filed two bills intended to make that knowledge transparent and to put an end on that particular plate style being used to fund anything.

    Now he’s working with atheist groups to make this issue even more public. American Atheists and the Secular Coalition for Arizona are launching a billboard campaign today, 11 February 2019, that encourages Arizonans to learn more about the issue. AA paid for the ad, which will appear in three locations in Phoenix through March. As a highlight, the huge sample "In God We Trust" Arizona license plate illustrated on the billboard uses the "random" letter-number combination "ADF-H8."

    Since the license plate’s launch, nearly $1 million in state fees from its sales have secretly gone to the ADF. Learn more at

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!