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Quick update and open thread


On Monday, the Supreme Court released orders but there’s still nothing on the LGBT cases we’re following. Those are three LGBT employment discrimination cases, plus a case involving bathroom use by people who are transgender and one involving a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. The latter two cases were apparently not considered at last week’s conference and have been rescheduled.

Also, via Equality Case Files, the DC Circuit has granted a motion to issue the mandate in the transgender military servicemembers case. This will allow the Trump administration to implement the ban.

This is an open thread.


  • 1. VIRick  |  March 27, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Puerto Rico Bans Gay "Conversion Therapy" on Minors

    On Wednesday, 27 March 2019, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló has signed an executive order banning so-called gay "conversion therapy" on minors.

    He wrote: “Today, we sign an executive order that prohibits conversion or restrictive therapies to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors. These therapies lack a scientific basis and, in addition, cause unnecessary harm and suffering to LGBT people.”

    Rosselló first announced his decision last week, days after a bill on the same subject was blocked in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives by his own party, the New Progressive Party.

    As of this moment, Puerto Rico joins 15 states and DC in having banned the discredited practice. (Colorado will soon follow.) Puerto Rico’s non-discrimination and hate crimes laws include sexual orientation and gender identity.

    This is the same governor who, shortly after the US Supreme Court ruling in "Obergefell," signed another executive order legalizing and authorizing same-sex marriage, thus allowing the court ruling to be implemented in Puerto Rico.

  • 2. scream4ever  |  March 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Maine and Massachusetts are likely to follow suit soon as well.

  • 3. VIRick  |  March 27, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Baja California: Tijuana Marriage Equality Retrospective from 2018 (Including Explanation of Paperwork Procedure) Plus Official Notice from 2017

    Per Cocut LGBTI AC:

    Seguimos compartiendo notas referentes al matrimonio igualitario en nuestra ciudad de Tijuana sin la necesidad de amparos:

    We continue to share notes regarding equal marriage in our city of Tijuana without the need for amparos:

    Without Amparos, Seven Gay Couples Marry in Tijuana

    Sin Amparos, Siete Parejas Gay Contraen Matrimonio en Tijuana

    Tijuana – En el marco del Día Internacional contra la Homofobia (17 de mayo 2018), se llevaron a cabo 7 bodas igualitarias sin la necesidad de presentar amparo ante el registro civil de Tijuana. La asociación civil, Comunidad Cultural de Tijuana LGBTI (Cocut LGBTI), realizó el acompañamiento a las parejas para poder realizar este trámite.

    El presidente de Cocut, Andrés Cruz, manifestó que actualmente el trámite se realiza presentando la solicitud de matrimonio por escrito ante el registro civil, misma que es negada vía documento el cual sirve para presentar la queja ante la Comisión Estatal de Derecho Humanos (CEDHBC), que procede hacer una conciliación entre el estado y el municipio. Les entregan a las parejas este documento con el cual el registro civil se ampara para proceder a realizar el matrimonio.

    Tijuana – Marking the International Day Against Homophobia (17 May 2018), 7 equal marriages were held before the civil registry of Tijuana without the need to file for an amparo. The civil association, Cultural Community of Tijuana LGBTI (Cocut LGBTI), accompanied the couples in order to carry out this process.

    The president of Cocut, Andrés Cruz, said that currently the process is done by submitting the request for marriage in writing to the civil registry, one which is denied via a document which serves as a submission for the complaint to the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDHBC), who then proceed to make a conciliation between the state and the municipality. They then give the couples this document by which the civil registry is protected in order to proceed to perform the marriage. (Basically, the state CEDH orders the municipal civil registry in writing to perform the marriage in question.)

    And this notice from the CEDH, dated 15 December 2017:

    To Deny Procedure for Equal Marriage in BC Is Illegal: CEDH

    Negar Trámite para Matrimonio Igualitario en BC Es Ilegal: CEDH

    Negar el trámite para un matrimonio civil entre personas del mismo sexo, en cualquiera de los cinco municipios de Baja California, es ilegal, reiteró la Presidenta de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos (CEDH), Melba Adriana Olvera.

    Denying the procedure for a civil marriage between persons of the same sex, in any of the five municipalities of Baja California, is illegal, reiterated the President of the State Commission of Human Rights (CEDH), Melba Adriana Olvera.

    As best as I am aware, same-sex marriages, without amparo, but following the procedure outlined above, have occurred in Tijuana, Ensenada, and Tecate. I have not seen a single word regarding Playas de Rosarito, and everything that has been recorded from Mexicali appears negative.

  • 4. VIRick  |  March 28, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill to Ban Gay "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 28 March 2019, HRC reacted positively to today's vote by the Massachusetts Senate in having passed bipartisan legislation (SB 2187)(HB 170) protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” and called upon Governor Charlie Baker to sign the bill. If enacted, Massachusetts would become the 16th state in the US to protect youth from this egregious practice (or the 17th, if Colorado beats them, as their bill banning the same practice is already on its way back to the House for approval of several minor Senate amendments, before going to the governor's desk for signing).

    In Massachusetts, Governor Baker has already stated he is inclined to support this crucial legislation (whereas, in Colorado, Governor Polis is most wholeheartedly and quite definitely supporting it). The bill in Massachusetts will now go to a conference committee before being sent to the governor for his signature.

    When signed into law, Massachusetts will become the 16th state (or 17th, as explained above) to enact statutory protections for youth from so-called “conversion therapy,” following Connecticut, California, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia. Just yesterday, 27 March 2019, Puerto Rico’s Governor issued an executive order protecting minors in that commonwealth from the same harmful practice. In addition, a growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including at least fifty cities and counties in Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and Wisconsin, all states without statewide protections.

  • 5. VIRick  |  March 28, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Cuba: New Constitution Is to Be Proclaimed on 10 April 2019

    Nueva Constitución Cubana se Proclamará el 10 de Abril 2019

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    La nueva Constitución de Cuba, aprobada en un referendo en febrero pasado, se proclamará el próximo 10 de abril en una sesión extraordinaria del Parlamento, anunció el Consejo de Estado.

    Se reconoce también el matrimonio igualitario (una vez definida "aptitud legal"), al definirlo como "la unión consensuada entre dos personas con aptitud legal para ello," mientras que la actual Constitución señala que es "la unión concertada voluntariamente entre un hombre y una mujer."

    The State Council announced that the new Constitution of Cuba, approved in a referendum this past February, will be proclaimed on 10 April in an extraordinary session of Parliament.

    Equal marriage is also recognized (once "aptitud legal" is defined), by defining marriage as "the consensual union between two persons with legal capacity to do so," while the current Constitution states that it is "the union voluntarily agreed between a man and a woman."

  • 6. allan120102  |  March 29, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Same sex marriage in now legal in Cayman islands. Incredible that NI still dont have marriage equality. At the pace we are going ssm will be legal in all territories before them

  • 7. VIRick  |  March 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Cayman Islands: Chief Justice Rules Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal

    Per Rex Wockner:

    From today, 29 March 2019, same-sex marriage is legal in the Cayman Islands after a landmark judgment was announced in Grand Court this morning. Chief Justice Anthony Smellie ruled that the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional and violated multiple rights. He ordered that the local law be changed to reflect that same-sex couples are allowed equal access to marriage as heterosexual couples.

    His ruling followed a petition by Caymanian Chantelle Day and her partner Vickie Bodden Bush. Day and Bodden Bush brought a joint judicial review and constitutional challenge after the government refused the couple’s application to marry in April 2018. Chief Justice Smellie ordered in his ruling that section 2 of the Marriage Law be changed to state “‘Marriage’ means the union between two people as one another’s spouses.”

    He stated: “This Court is … bound not to allow the violation of the Petitioners’ rights to continue without redress. The Constitution, in its mandatory requirement that the Law be brought into conformity, must prevail. The Petitioners and their daughter are entitled to the indignities to which they have been subjected being put to an immediate end by the Court.”

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 29, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Cayman Islands: Marriage between People of the Same Sex Is Now Legal


    El Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo Ya Es Legal en las Islas Caimán

    Las Islas Caimán, un territorio británico de ultramar ubicado en el Mar Caribe, han legalizado el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo con efecto inmediato. La Gran Corte de las Islas Caimán falló a favor de la igualdad matrimonial el viernes 29 de marzo 2019, legalizando el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo después de un caso judicial interpuesto contra las Islas Caimán por una pareja de lesbianas.

    The Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean Sea, has legalized same-sex marriage with immediate effect. The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands ruled in favor of marriage equality on Friday, 29 March 2019, legalizing same-sex marriage after a court case brought against the Cayman Islands by a lesbian couple.

  • 9. VIRick  |  March 29, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Ecuador: Public Hearing (Audiencia) on Marriage Equality before Constitutional Court

    Per José Daniel Acosta:

    The hearing today, 29 March 2019, a consultation (consulta) of the norm of the CIDH on marriage equality before the Constitutional Court, at the request of the Provincial Court of Pichincha, will have 38 participants. Among them will be:

    Universidad Central del Ecuador
    Universidad Internacional del Ecuador
    Colegio de Jurisprudencia de Universidad San Francisco de Quito
    Defensoría del Pueblo Ecuador (Gina Benavides)
    ODJ Ecuador
    La Fundación Regional del Asesoría en Derechos Humanos (INREDH)
    Consejo Nacional para la Igualdad de Género
    Consejo de Protección de Derechos del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito (Consejera Paulina Vaca)
    Observatorio de Derechos y Justicia de la UIDE (María Dolores Miño)
    Fundación PAKTA (Christian Paula)
    Fundación Equidad (Efraín Soria), lead plaintiff in current case before the court
    Fernanda Freire, abogada de la pareja que busca el reconocimiento del matrimonio igualitario (Lawyer for couple seeking marriage equality recognition)
    Pamela Troya, lead plaintiff in first (and still pending) marriage equality case before court
    Álex Bravo Bajaña, del Registro Civil, diciendo que la Corte Constitucional del Ecuador indique el camino (saying that the Constitutional Court of Ecuador must show the way)

    On the same date, the Constitutional Court suspended the request for passports and judicial records for Venezuelans wishing to enter Ecuador, which is good news for LGBT Venezuelans who fled their country in a hurry, without up-to-date passports and judicial records in hand.

  • 10. VIRick  |  March 30, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Ecuador: Following Yesterday's Hearing, Constitutional Court Has 45 Days to Respond

    Ayer se efectuó la audiencia pública para determinar si la opinión consultiva OC 24/7 emitida por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) sobre el matrimonio igualitario es aplicable en Ecuador. La Corte analizará si esta puede aplicarse en Ecuador sin una reforma a la Constitución o a la Ley Orgánica de Identidad, Datos Civiles, y Código Civil.

    La causa fue admitida el pasado 6 de marzo 2019 por la Corte Constitucional, tras la solicitud realizada por los jueces de la Sala Penal de la Corte Provincial de Justicia de Pichincha, en el caso de matrimonio civil igualitario de Efraín Soria y su pareja Javier Benalcázar. La Opinión Consultiva 24/7 de la CIDH establece derechos favorables para la población GLBTI, como la opción de que personas del mismo sexo contraigan matrimonio.

    En 45 días, la Corte Constitucional deberá emitir una respuesta, y debe resolver la causa en un plazo no mayor a 45 días, tal como lo determina la Ley Orgánica de Garantías Jurisdiccionales y Control Constitucional. Hay más causas interpuestas como acciones extraordinarias y serán atendidas en orden cronológico.

    Yesterday, a public hearing was held to determine if the advisory opinion OC 24/7 issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) on marriage equality is applicable to Ecuador. The Court will analyze if this can be applied in Ecuador without a reform to the Constitution or to the Organic Law of Identity, Civil Data, and the Civil Code.

    The case was admitted on 6 March 2019 by the Constitutional Court, following the request made by the judges of the Criminal Chamber of the Provincial Court of Justice of Pichincha, in the case of the equal civil marriage of Efraín Soria and his partner Javier Benalcázar. Advisory Opinion 24/7 of the CIDH establishes favorable rights for the GLBTI population, such as the option for same-sex marriages.

    In 45 days, the Constitutional Court must issue a response, and must resolve the case within said period not exceeding 45 days, as determined by the Organic Law of Jurisdictional Guarantees and Constitutional Control. There are more cases pending as extraordinary actions and they will be dealt with in chronological order.

  • 11. VIRick  |  March 29, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    North Carolina: Three New Pro-LGBT Bills Introduced

    Lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced a trio of bills designed to protect LGBTQ North Carolinians, including legislation to halt the use of conversion therapy throughout the state. The Mental Health Prevention Act, HB 516 and SB 426, would protect LGBTQ youth and disabled adults from attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity using psychological or spiritual means. In many cases, the practice of conversion therapy can be extreme, causing profound harm to those who are treated by such – including dramatic increases in suicide attempts.

    Also introduced was HB 515, a full repeal of HB 2, the bill which repealed Asheville’s trans-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance and barred transgender people from using public restrooms throughout the state. The passage of HB 2 was widely panned, portending a substantial hit on the state’s economy and leading to the electoral defeat of the law’s champion, former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

    McCrory’s successor, Roy Cooper, was eventually able to broker a compromise to partially repeal HB 2, but that bill, HB 142 did not go far enough, keeping in place prohibitions against municipalities from enacting any LGBTQ non-discrimination protections until the end of 2020, and reserving the state’s power to enact restroom legislation. The new bill will remove those restrictions.

    Finally, legislators introduced the Equality for All Act, HB 514. As its name implies, HB 514 would protect LGBTQ North Carolinians from discrimination in credit, education, employment, insurance, and public accommodations. It is the most comprehensive non-discrimination legislation ever introduced in the state.

  • 12. VIRick  |  March 29, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Arizona: Federal Suit Filed against State Law Barring Positive LGBT Teaching Approach

    As of 29 March 2019, the state of Arizona is being sued over its insane, outdated, negatively-focused law (the so-called "no promo homo" law) that bars schools from speaking positively about homosexuality. State law in Arizona prohibits sex education at public and charter schools that “promotes a homosexual lifestyle,” “portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative lifestyle,” or “suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.”

    The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Equality Arizona and a 12-year-old queer non-binary student who goes to school in Tucson. The lawsuit says that students’ Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection rights are being violated because the law effectively separates LGBTQ people as a class and says that they can’t access needed sexual health information that straight students are receiving. In addition, the law also suggests “that there is something so undesirable, shameful, or controversial about ‘homosexuality’ that any positive portrayals of LGBTQ people or same-sex relationships must be explicitly barred.”

    The lawsuit names Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman as one of the defendants. Hoffman has already called for the anti-LGBTQ curriculum law to be repealed. “This policy is not just outdated, it has always been harmful and wrong,” she said in February, calling for the law’s repeal.

  • 13. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 30, 2019 at 5:36 am

    My concern about this case is the choice of a 12-year-old as plaintiff. That may make it more difficult to show concrete harm, an essential for standing in bringing a law suit.

  • 14. Randolph_Finder  |  March 30, 2019 at 7:09 am

    Looks like Marriage Equality has come to the Cayman Islands.

  • 15. scream4ever  |  March 30, 2019 at 9:47 am

    This is largely thanks to the Bermuda ruling. Hopefully it will also result in it becoming legal in Northern Ireland and the other territories soon.

  • 16. Randolph_Finder  |  March 30, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Note, I found out about this when someone changed

  • 17. guitaristbl  |  March 30, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Pro-LGBT candidate Zuzana Caputova wins the slovak presidential election :

    The role is largely ceremonial but her opponent in the run-off, supported by the ruling social democratic Smer party, Maros Sefcovic, tried to use her more liberal stance on LGBT rights as part of his smear campaign in order to defeat her by promising no further expansion of such rights and claiming that civil partnerships and same-sex adoption are "sources of great unrest" for society. He utterly failed to rally voters with the homophobic war cries even in conservative Slovakia.

  • 18. allan120102  |  March 30, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    As expected the court has ruled only in the child marriage issue. As the commision of human rights didnt include the issue of ssm so the ban on ssm sadly is in place. The good thing child marriage is now prohibited in the state

  • 19. VIRick  |  April 1, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Estonia: (Same-Sex) Registered Partnership Up-Date, Political Maneuvering for Repeal

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The coalition in the process of being formed by the Centre Party, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), and Isamaa does not intend to repeal the (same-sex) Registered Partnership Act in Estonia, as it will not have enough votes to do so, the heads of EKRE admitted on TRE Radio's Sunday broadcast. Party leaders, however, want something in its stead — referendums.

    "We will not be able to successfully force the repeal of the (same-sex) Registered Partnership in the Riigikogu (parliament), because we just won't have enough votes," EKRE deputy chairman Martin Helme said on TRE Radio. In lieu of this, in the coalition agreement, EKRE is to receive the opportunity to hold referendums with which to later (presumably) achieve what it wants.

    "The agreement to have referendums and opinion polls count in Estonia, that is, the ability to put any matter pertaining to a national issue to a referendum upon collecting 50,000 signatures, and if voter turnout exceeds 50%, and the majority supports the referendum's proposal, then it will automatically enter into force," Mart Helme, the EKRE chairman, described. "This means that we can put the repeal of the Registered Partnership Act to a referendum. This means that we can put the direct election of the president to a referendum."

    According to the younger Martin Helme, the deputy chair of the EKRE, the plan is to conduct an opinion poll during the next local elections regarding whether paragraph 27 of the Constitution of the Republic should be amended to include the clause that marriage is between a man and a woman. Should the proposal receive popular support, the plan would be to submit an initiative to amend the Constitution during the term of the current Riigikogu which, according to the Constitution, would have to be completed during the term of the next Riigikogu.

    On the other hand, if the Reform Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), currently the opposition, were to put the implementing provisions of the (same-sex) Registered Partnership Act to a vote, and if Centre hasn't promised to be against it, a good possibly exists that the provisions would be passed.

    Note: Much of the above is a political "wet-dream wish list" on the part of the EKRE. In the meantime, in Estonia, same-sex couples are registering their partnerships anyway (even without the implementation provisions having been passed). They are also marrying abroad, and forcing the government to recognize said foreign marriages (particularly from Sweden).

  • 20. VIRick  |  April 1, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Nevada Assembly OKs Marriage Equality Amendment

    Per Rob Salerno:

    On Friday, 29 March 2019, AJR2, the proposed constitutional amendment removing language that defines only marriages between a man and a woman as valid, was passed by the Nevada Assembly in a 38-2 vote.

    AJR2 was already approved by the 2017 Legislature, but must go through the process twice before going on the ballot. The resolution now heads to the Senate where, if approved, it will then be put on the 2020 General Election ballot for voters to decide.

  • 21. scream4ever  |  April 1, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Damn only 2 voted no? Even just a few years ago that never would've happened.

  • 22. Fortguy  |  April 3, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Lori Lightfoot has been elected as the first openly gay mayor of Chicago. The former federal prosecutor replaces Rahm Emanuel who did not seek a third term. Lightfoot, who will also be the first African-American woman to lead the third largest city in the U.S., has never before held elected office.

    Sara Burnett and Herbert G. McCann, Associated Press: Lightfoot wins Chicago mayor race; pledges end to corruption

  • 23. JayJonson  |  April 3, 2019 at 7:50 am

    An open lesbian defeated Mayor Paul Soglin in Madison, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, an anti-gay crazy man leads for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Brian Hagedorn, a far right wing religious conservative who is tied to an anti-gay hate group, was losing during most of the evening's results, but around 11:30 PM ET he began to pull ahead of Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, a progressive. Hagedorn has declared victory, but the race was still considered too close to call this morning. There will likely be a recount.

  • 24. Mechatron12  |  April 3, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Milwaukee utterly screwed us with its shitty turnout. Short of open bribery, I don't know how the hell we are supposed to get some of these people to actually vote in elections.

  • 25. FredDorner  |  April 3, 2019 at 11:51 am

    I share your frustration as a Wisconsinite. The people who really should vote to protect their own interests often don't, but don't forget that the voter ID law and other voting restrictions were designed to suppress the votes of minorities and the poor……as Rep Grothman freely admitted.

    As a result we now have a bigoted Christofascist theocrat on the state SC, a proponent of Christian sharia law.

  • 26. Fortguy  |  April 3, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Brunei's new Sharia criminal code is now in effect. Under the new code, gay sex and adultery are capital crimes punishable by stoning while those convicted of theft may suffer amputation.

    Annabelle Liang, Associated Press: Brunei invokes laws allowing stoning for gay sex, adultery

    The international community should impose sanctions on Brunei forbidding all trade except for calendars to inform the citizenry of what century this is and specifically to provide the sultan with a calendar that each month features buff men in leather harnesses and provocative poses leering lustfully at the camera.

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