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SCOTUS update 4/2


On Monday the Supreme Court released more orders, but the Court still took no action in LGBT cases we’re following. As Equality Case Files noted, the Court was considering whether to review three LGBT employment discrimination cases plus the case of a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. One other case involving the issue of transgender students using the restroom was supposed to be scheduled for last week’s conference but has been rescheduled. We’ll post any updates.


  • 1. VIRick  |  April 3, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Cayman Islands Government to Appeal Marriage Equality Ruling

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Today, 3 April 2019, Premier Alden McLaughlin has announced that he has instructed the attorney-general to file an appeal against Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s ruling of 29 March 2019 that legalized same-sex marriage. The government has also asked for a stay of the ruling, and is hoping to overturn the landmark judgment that ushered in marriage equality for the Cayman Islands on the basis that the senior judge overstepped his powers by changing the law from the bench, overlooking the deliberate intent of the constitution to retain marriage as the exclusive right of heterosexual couples.

  • 2. FredDorner  |  April 3, 2019 at 11:55 am

    It's all about superstitious straight folks and their desperate need to feel special.

    In his statement the premier effectively admits that his government isn't secular and the constitution was designed to privilege certain bigoted superstitions.

  • 3. VIRick  |  April 3, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Utah Up-Grades Its Toothless Hate Crimes Law; Indiana Passes Useless Nonsense as "Hate Crimes" Law


    Utah’s Republican governor signed a hate crimes bill that made their previous, “unworkable” law better, while the Indiana legislature passed a bill that civil rights groups say does not even count as a hate crimes law. On 2 April 2019, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill that would put stiffer penalties on hate crimes based on a number of characteristics, including both sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Utah’s previous hate crimes law, which was enacted in 1992, was considered unenforceable by prosecutors. The law tracked statistics on hate crimes, but only allowed for enhanced sentences for misdemeanors, not felonies. “The current Utah statute is such an untenable and unworkable statute that we have not had a successful prosecution of a hate crime for the last 20 years at the state level,” Salt Lake County attorney Sim Gill told the New York Times. “It is worthless. It is not worth the paper it is written on.”

    In the end, as finally passed, Utah’s new hate crimes bill included age, ancestry, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity, homelessness, marital status, matriculation, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, service in the US Armed Forces, status as an emergency responder, law enforcement officer, correctional officer, special function officer, or any other peace officer, as well as that of political expression (but removing any reference to MAGA-hatted nut-jobs being "victims"), as protected categories.


    Indiana Republicans, though, have passed what civil rights groups believe is another thoroughly worthless hate crimes bill, even more useless than the previous Utah legislation. Yesterday, 2 April 2019, the Indiana Senate passed a "hate crimes" bill that includes no protected categories, like race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Instead, the law defines a hate crime as a crime motivated by bias against any “real or perceived characteristic, trait, belief, practice, association, or other attribute the court chooses to consider.” Judges will have discretion to determine whether, for example, being transgender qualifies as such a characteristic.

    Indiana is one of five states that does not currently have hate crimes legislation. The Anti-Defamation League said that it was “deeply disappointed” with the bill, as it “does not meet our standard for a real and effective hate crimes law in 2019,” the group said in a statement.

    Since no other state has passed a hate crimes bill with no categories, how it will be used by prosecutors or interpreted by judges is unknown. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) said that he would sign the bill, although he said that he would have preferred a bill with the named categories.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  April 3, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Will be struck down as unconstitutional / void for vagueness: Vagueness doctrine is a constitutional rule that requires criminal laws to state explicitly and definitely what conduct is punishable. Criminal laws that violate this requirement are said to be void for vagueness. Vagueness doctrine rests on the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. By requiring fair notice of what is punishable and what is not, vagueness doctrine also helps prevent arbitrary enforcement of the laws. Under vagueness doctrine, a statute is also void for vagueness if a legislature's delegation of authority to judges and/or administrators is so extensive that it would lead to arbitrary prosecutions.

  • 5. arturo547  |  April 3, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Mexico: Supreme Court rules Aguascalientes ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.


  • 6. VIRick  |  April 3, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Supreme Court Declares Denial of Gay Marriage in Aguascalientes Unconstitutional

    Suprema Corte Declara Inconstitucional Negar Matrimonio Gay en Aguascalientes

    El pleno de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) consideró este martes, 2 de abril 2019, que diversos artículos contenidos en el Código Civil del Estado de Aguascalientes son inconstitucionales por negar el acceso al matrimonio por parte de parejas conformadas por personas del mismo sexo.

    De acuerdo con el fallo de la SCJN, dichos artículos del Código Civil deben interpretarse y aplicarse a los matrimonios y concubinato conformados entre dos personas de diferente o el mismo sexo. Los artículos considerados inconstitucionales fueron el 143, 144, y 113 bis, los cuales señalan que el matrimonio es la unión “entre un hombre y una mujer” y su misión es “perpetuar la especie”. Incluso se señala que cualquier condición contraria a la perpetuación de la especie “no se tendrá por puesta.”

    En su fallo, la SCJN también declaró inconstitucional un artículo de la Ley de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales para los Servidores Públicos de Aguascalientes, el cual excluía a cónyuges, concubinas, y concubinos cuando se trata de una relación conformada por personas del mismo sexo.

    El proyecto fue presentado por el magistrado José Fernando Franco justo a unas días de que la SCJN invalidara diversas disposiciones de Aguascalientes sobre el matrimonio infantil. La resolución responde a la Acción de Inconstitucionalidad (40/2018), presentada por la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH), instancia que demandó la invalidez de diversas disposiciones de la norma estatal.

    The full Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) ruled this Tuesday, 2 April 2019, that various articles contained in the Civil Code of the State of Aguascalientes are unconstitutional for denying access to marriage for same-sex couples.

    According to the ruling of the SCJN, these articles of the Civil Code must be interpreted and applied equally to marriages and cohabitation formed between two people of different or of the same sex. The articles considered unconstitutional were 143, 144, and 113 bis, which indicate that marriage is the union "between a man and a woman" and its mission is to "perpetuate the species." It is even pointed out that any condition contrary to the perpetuation of the species "will not be considered as a result."

    In its ruling, the SCJN also declared unconstitutional an article of the Security and Social Services Law for Public Servants of Aguascalientes which excluded spouses and partners of relationships comprised of persons of the same sex.

    The ruling was presented by Justice José Fernando Franco just a few days after the SCJN invalidated various provisions from Aguascalientes on child marriage. This resolution corresponds to the Action of Unconstitutionality (40/2018), presented by the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), which demanded the invalidity of various provisions of the state's regulations.

  • 7. VIRick  |  April 3, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Someone in Aguascalientes needs to be informed of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling against Aguascalientes, declaring their restrictive marriage law unconstitutional, because today's headline, on 3 April 2019, is still focusing on the lack of movement of the pending marriage equality legislation in their state legislature:

    Per La Jornada de Aguascalientes:

    Recomendación sobre Matrimonio Igualitario Sigue Estancada en el Legislativo de Aguascalientes

    Recommendation on Equal Marriage Remains Stuck in the Aguascalientes Legislature

    The outcome of an Action of Unconstitutionality, such as this one (40/2018), once ruled upon as striking down the offending marriage restrictions, takes immediate effect (after the relevant state authorities have been notified). Thus, marriage equality has come to Aguascalientes by way of the Supreme Court, and not through their state legislature, just as it already has in Jalisco, Puebla, Chiapas, and Nuevo León.

  • 8. VIRick  |  April 3, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    The Court Invalidates Aguascalientes Definition of Marriage; Protects Equal Unions

    La Corte Invalida Definición del Matrimonio en Aguascalientes; Protege a Uniones Igualitarias

    La Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) invalidó la definición del matrimonio como “la unión legal de un solo hombre y una sola mujer” con el fin de “perpetuar la especie y crear en ellos una comunidad de vida,” contemplada en el Código Civil de Aguascalientes. El pleno de la SCJN consideró que los Artículos 143, 144, y 113 bis de dicho Código Civil local, deberán “interpretarse y aplicarse en el sentido de que corresponden también a los matrimonios y concubinato entre dos personas de diferente o el mismo sexo.”

    Con ello, el Congreso de Aguascalientes deberá modificar dichos artículos, una vez que sea notificada la resolución tomada por el pleno de la SCJN, con la cual los matrimonios del mismo sexo podrán acceder a la protección social tales como pago de pensiones y servicios de salud. Entre 2014 y 2017 este y otros artículos fueron impugnados por organizaciones sociales y posteriormente por la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), en la Acción de Inconstitucionalidad 40/2018, al considerar que el Código Civil estatal viola derechos y discrimina.

    The Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) invalidated the definition of marriage as "the legal union of one man and one woman" in order to "perpetuate the species and create in them a community of life," as envisaged in the Civil Code of Aguascalientes. The full SCJN ruled that Articles 143, 144, and 113 bis of the Aguascalientes Civil Code, should be "interpreted and applied in the sense that they equally correspond to marriages and cohabitation between two people of different or of the same sex."

    With this, the Congress of Aguascalientes must modify said articles, once they have been notified of the ruling pronounced by the full SCJN, one by which same-sex couples will be able to access social protection such as payment of pensions and health services. Between 2014 and 2017 this and other articles were challenged by social organizations and later by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), resulting in the Action of Unconstitutionality 40/2018, given that the state Civil Code violates rights and discriminates.

  • 9. VIRick  |  April 3, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Supreme Court and CNDH Cleanses Aguascalientes of Multiple Discriminatory Laws

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Yesterday, 2 April 2019, Mexico's Supreme Court struck down every law in the state of Aguascalientes that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Once the state receives notification, marriage equality will be in place. 15 states (plus CDMX) done, 16 to go.

    Per CNDH:

    Celebra CNDH resolución de la SCJN para permitir el matrimonio igualitario y para garantizar los derechos de personas trabajadores en activo y pensionadas, y de quienes viven con discapacidad, en el estado de Aguascalientes.

    CNDH celebrates the ruling of the SCJN to allow equal marriage and to guarantee the rights of active and pensioned workers, and of those who live with disability, in the state of Aguascalientes.

  • 10. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Commentary on Supreme Court Rulings against Aguascalientes

    Last week, Allan drew our attention to the fact that Mexico's Supreme Court had struck down the Aguascalientes child marriage law as unconstitutional. This week, as Arturo first noted, they finished the job by striking down everything else that had been challenged as unconstitutional by the CNDH.

    The combination of the two rulings was the result of the Action of Unconstitutionality 40/2018. Normally, the Supreme Court takes such cases sequentially, in the order in which they were filed, and rules upon them accordingly. However, in this instance, in an unusual gesture, they originally skipped over the Aguascalientes case, and took up the more recently-filed case against Nuevo León, ruling against that state's marriage restrictions in February 2019. In an even more unusual gesture, when the ruling against Aguascalientes finally came down, because of the complexity of the multiple challenges, it was split, in effect, into two separate rulings.

    The portion concerning the child marriage law was considered first, and was ruled upon separately. Then, on 2 April 2019, everything else that was challenged was ruled upon. And all sorts of discriminatory laws were tossed as being unconstitutional, not the least of which were Articles 143, 144, and 113 bis which prevented marriage equality. In addition, they also found discriminatory provisions in the pension law and in the disability law, all of which were tossed as being unconstitutional in a very thorough purging.

    When this Action of Unconstitutionality was first filed against Aguascalientes, I was astounded by the thoroughness of the multiple challenges. Someone at both the CEDHA level and at the CNDH level had really done their homework, and filed a comprehensive listing of EVERYTHING that was discriminatory within the state's Civil Code. And now, the Supreme Court has agreed, and has ruled favorably upon every last item that was challenged, a portend of what is yet to come for the remaining intransigent states.

    Next on the Supreme Court's agenda: Rulings of a "General Declaration of Unconstitutionality" against Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Sonora, and in that order. All three are headed to the cleaners, and will be summarily "cleansed" of all their discriminatory laws, including their marriage provisions, in much the same fashion as was Aguascalientes. The time for expecting any legislative changes from Sinaloa has already expired, while that for Tamaulipas will soon expire. In the meantime, the clock against Sonora will soon begin.

    Note: We have yet to see a "General Declaration of Unconstitutionality" directed against one of the states pertaining to marriage equality actually take effect. Two other pending cases, one against Nuevo León and the other against Aguascalientes, have suddenly been superseded by the more immediate "Actions of Unconstitutionality."

  • 11. arturo547  |  April 3, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Peru: Supreme Court rules in favour of gender education in schools.


  • 12. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Ohio: Private School Sues to Block Anti-Discrimination Ordinance despite Being Exempt

    On Wednesday, 3 April 2019, a Catholic school in Ohio filed suit over a municipal law that bans discrimination against LGBTQ people. South Euclid, a suburb of Cleveland, passed an ordinance in 2018 that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The ordinance has an exemption for any “religious or denominational institution.”

    The school’s dean, Mark Langley, commented during a city council hearing on the ordinance that not being allowed to discriminate is a form of discrimination. “When you say you can’t discriminate against one, you are actually discriminating against others,” he said. “Do you see the logic in that?”

    “No,” responded council member Ruth Gray.

    The Lyceum is a small private school with only seven full-time teachers that says it provides a “classical Catholic education.” With help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ hate group well-known for their work opposing civil rights legislation, the school filed a federal lawsuit in US District Court in Cleveland, arguing that its religious freedom is violated by the ordinance.

    Note: If the institution is exempt from the ordinance's provisions, one presumes that the court will toss this case for lack of standing. Still, for what it is worth, the Complaint is here:

  • 13. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 4, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    The court should not only toss the case they should dismiss it with prejudice (pun intended). they should also declare it a frivolous suit and penalize the plaintiffs and grant costs to the defendants.

    Unfortunately, The RCC, of which I am a member, has it's ugly alt-right contingent.

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Tennessee House Passes "Right to Discriminate" Adoption Bill

    The Tennessee House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow adoption providers to discriminate against LGBT people. On Monday, 1 April 2019, lawmakers in the chamber voted 67-22 along party lines in favor of a bill which would permit adoption and foster care agencies to refuse service to same-sex couples. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Tim Rudd (R), would allow adoption agencies to refuse to “perform, assist, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placement for foster care or adoption” based on an individual’s “religious or moral convictions.”

    If the law also passes the state senate and is signed by governor Bill Lee, it would make Tennessee the latest in a string of states to have passed near-identical "freedom to discriminate" adoption laws. Similar legislation is already on the books in Alabama, Kansas, Michigan (now in abeyance, pending final court settlement), Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.

  • 15. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 4, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    That is why religious institutions should not be involved in services that are entirely civil in nature. There needs to be a strong delineation of the line in the separation of state and church.

  • 16. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    México Igualitario and CHEROS Sue México and Its President over Failure to Implement 2018 CIDH Ruling

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Today, 4 April 2019, México Igualitario and CHEROS (Centro Humanístico de Estudios Relacionados con la Orientación Sexual de Chihuahua) sued México and its president at the Inter-American Commission for failure to comply with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) marriage equality ruling of 2018. At present, only half of Mexico's 31 states have marriage equality.

  • 17. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Peru: Judgment of Constitutional Court Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage

    Peru: Sentencia de Juzgado Constitucional Reconoce el Matrimonio del Mismo Sexo

    Per Lilith Gadea:

    En primera instancia, Poder Judicial aprueba en nuestro país del Peru el matrimonio entre Susel Paredes y su esposa.

    Corte Superior de Justicia de Lima, Décimo Primer Juzgado Constitucional

    In the first instance in our country of Peru, the Judiciary approves the marriage between Susel Paredes and her wife.

    Superior Court of Justice of Lima, Eleventh Constitutional Court

    The entire ruling (in Spanish) is here:

  • 18. Mechatron12  |  April 4, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    So does this legalize it nationwide, or is this just another step forward toward that ultimate goal? Thanks for all the info you provide around here!

  • 19. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I still need to read through the ruling. Lilith only posted her link to the ruling 47 minutes ago, and I only posted this translated copy of it 17 minutes ago. However, it appears to be an intermediate-level constitutional court providing marriage recognition in a new, different case, that of Susel Paredes and her wife (Susel Ana María Paredes Pique and Gracia María Francisca Aljovín de Losada). Previously, we had been totally focusing on the case of Oscar Ugarteche, seeking official recognition of his Mexican marriage to his husband.

    However, Perú is a country where one ruling at the highest court level will automatically usher in marriage equality nationwide. At the moment, we are very, very close, both here (where the court has just invalidated Article 234 of the Civil Code which defines marriage) and in Ecuador.

  • 20. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    OK, here is the summary:

    The couple was married in Miami on 4 August 2016, then attempted to register their marriage back home in Perú with RENIEC. They were rejected by RENIEC on 6 February 2017, and then filed suit against RENIEC. Now, on 4 April 2019, in the present ruling, citing the CIDH ruling on marriage equality, OC-24/17, the Superior Court of Justice of Lima, the Eleventh Constitutional Court, invalidated Article 234 of the Civil Code of Perú which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and ordered the inscription of the couple's marriage, without restrictions.

    The Superior Courts of Justice of Peru are the second-highest courts of the Judicial System of Peru. It is only second to the Supreme Court. There is one court for each Judicial District which more or less correspond with each of the 25 Regions of Peru.

  • 21. allan120102  |  April 4, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    If I am not wrong this only affects the judicial district the ruling came from. So technically if Reniec does not appeal ssm will be recognize in only that distrct. Still a ruling could come anytime from the supreme court which will force every judicial district in recognizing ssm that were perform in othrr countries.

  • 22. arturo547  |  April 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Hello, guys. I’m Peruvian and I can tell you that out judicial system is very strange. Hete, we have a Supreme Court and also Constitutional Court. Apart from that the Supreme Court has Constitutional chambers. We don’t have federated states, so rulings by top regional courts don’t affect only that region but become a precedent nationwide, although I am of those who considers that we shouldn’t celebrare first instance rulings. Our eyes should be put on the Ugarteche case.

    Some months ago a news report said that the Constitutional Court would issue a ruling in March, but when you see the video, the president of the Court didn’t say they would publish the ruling in March, but that they would “deal with” the issue in March “as a maximun”. And here we are, extremely anxious, waiting. Recently a liberal newspaper republished the Ugarteche case and said “in the next days” the judges will have to maje a decision.

    I am fed up of waiting and a bit worried too because the judges will have to be renewed by June by the homophobic fujimorista congress (although they might take longer to fill the vacants). So the vote has to take place now. Something makes me think that the conservative president of the Court is trying to block the vote in order to pass it to the next judges. That would be desastrous. Conservative judges deciding on the case might not only reject it but also make an interpretation that our constitution “prohibits” marriage equality, just as the conservative judges in 2014 did with the gender identity case (which was luckily reversed by the current court). That would be extremely sad. I hope I am wrong.

  • 23. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    One can again read the entire Peruvian court ruling of 4 April 2019 (in Spanish) here:

    El Décimo Primer Juzgado Constitucional del Poder Judicial declaró fundado el proceso de amparo promovido por Susel Paredes y su esposa, reconociendo de esta manera, su matrimonio civil.

    The Eleventh Constitutional Court of Justice declared as valid the amparo process promoted by Susel Paredes and her wife, thus recognizing their civil marriage.

    Also, if one understands spoken Spanish, an audio version of the ruling automatically accompanies this article from Canal N.

  • 24. VIRick  |  April 5, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Likely Next Steps in the Latest Peruvian Marriage Equality Judgment

    Per Diego Ato Cadenas:‏

    Los argumentos de RENIEC no son jurídicos, sino bastante ideologizados. No cree en la figura del matrimonio igualitario. Es clarísimo que esta institución va a apelar, y si se anula la sentencia, Susel Paredes puede elevar su caso al Tribunal Constitucional del Perú.

    The arguments of RENIEC are not legal, but rather fully ideological. It does not believe in the concept of marriage equality. It is very clear that this institution will appeal, and if the judgment is annulled, Susel Paredes can elevate her case to the Constitutional Tribunal of Perú.

    Note: From this comment, it is obvious that that there are two higher court levels above the court which issued the marriage equality ruling on 4 April 2019. In Spanish, that court was: Corte Superior de Justicia de Lima, Décimo Primer Juzgado Constitucional.

    The highest court is: Tribunal Constitucional del Perú.

  • 25. arturo547  |  April 5, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    That’s what I don’t understand. When the “Superior Court of Lima” ruled in the Ugarteche case, it was “second instance”, but this time, in the Susel Paredes case, the same court is regarded as “first instance”. It makes no sense to me.

    On Facebook RENIEC has published a note saying that they won’t make any comments in order to respect the autonomy of their “procuraduría”. I don’t know that word in English, sorry.

  • 26. VIRick  |  April 5, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Arturo, I am stumbling over the same Peruvian "court language" terminology. Plus, from my first quote from Lilith, it gave the impression that the court level in question was of the "second instance," that is, at the intermediate level. And it may well be, as that matches with your understanding from the Ugarteche case. It also matches with what I quoted from Wikipedia.

    However, right here, from Diego, it is clear that the court which just issued the marriage equality ruling is of the "first instance," with two additional higher levels.

    Spanish is Spanish. That is not the problem, but rather it is the special "court language" terminology. The terms in use in Perú simply do not match with the "court language" terms in use in other Spanish-language countries with which I am more familiar. As a result, I have stopped attempting to translate the Peruvian terms into English, as that only confuses my "Mexican" even more.

    “Procuraduría” refers to their "prosecutor," undoubtedly a reference to their legal team of lawyers who presumably have some intention of appealing this recent court ruling.

  • 27. VIRick  |  April 5, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Perú: Progress in LGBTI Rights

    Perú: Avance en los Derechos LGBTI

    El Poder Judicial ha ordenado al Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil (RENIEC), inscribir legalmente el matrimonio lésbico entre las peruanas Susel Paredes, gerenta de Fiscalización de la Municipalidad de La Victoria, y la abogada Gracia Aljovín, quienes contrajeron nupcias en Miami el 2016. La sentencia en primera instancia marca un precedente importante en la búsqueda por garantizar los derechos de la comunidad LGBTI.

    Así lo considera Susel Paredes, quien en conferencia de prensa contó junto a su esposa, Gracia Aljovín, cómo se conocieron y la lucha que están dispuestas a hacer. Ambas señalaron que continuarán hasta el final con este proceso para que todas las personas integrantes de la diversidad sexual puedan gozar plenamente de sus derechos.

    “No se trata de que la gente tenga que ir al extranjero a casarse. Es una locura pretender que se tenga que salir del país para hacerlo. Se trata de ir cambiando la comprensión que tiene la sociedad sobre los derechos de la comunidad LGBTI,” resaltó Aljovín.

    RENIEC tiene tres días para apelar la sentencia, desde el momento en que es notificado oficialmente. La pareja espera que acepten el fallo en primera instancia.

    The Judicial Branch has ordered the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status (RENIEC) to legally register the lesbian marriage between Peruvians Susel Paredes, supervisor of the Municipality of La Victoria, and attorney Gracia Aljovín, who married in Miami in 2016. The judgment of the first instance marks an important precedent in the search to guarantee the rights of the LGBTI community.

    This is what Susel Paredes considers, who at a press conference together with her wife, Gracia Aljovín, told how they met and about the fight they are willing to make. Both indicated that they will continue until the end of this process so that all persons who are members of the sexual diversity community can fully enjoy their rights.

    "It's not about people having to go abroad to marry. It is crazy to pretend that one has to leave the country to do it. It is about changing the understanding that society has about the rights of the LGBTI community," remarked Aljovín.

    RENIEC has three days to appeal the judgment, from the moment it is officially notified. The couple hopes that they accept the ruling of the first instance.

  • 28. ianbirmingham  |  April 4, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    In Major Shift, Mormon Church Rolls Back Controversial Policies Toward LGBT Members

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Thursday that it was reversing its controversial 2015 policy that classified people in same-sex marriages as "apostates." The Mormon church had also barred the children of such marriages from blessing or baptism until age 18. The children of such marriages could only be baptized once they turned 18, and to do so they needed to move out of the household and disavow same-sex cohabitation and marriage.

    A news release issued by the church attributed the policy change to "continuing revelation."

    The church said that "immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way." But some took issue with that line, as the LDS church does not recognize same-sex marriage as being the same as a heterosexual marriage, which it calls "eternal marriage." "[If] homosexual sex within marriage is wrong and heterosexual sex within marriage is great, we're not treating 'immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships…in the same way,' " as one person noted on Twitter.

    The move constitutes a major policy shift, one The Salt Lake Tribune called "stunning."

  • 29. davepCA  |  April 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I dunno…. The change sounds like just semantic word games to me. I agree with the twitter comment in the article.

    It's like changing a law that blatantly said 'we allow discrimination against Jews' to a law that says 'we no longer specifically allow discrimination against Jews, but now we DO allow discrimination against anyone who wears a yarmulke, regardless of whether they are Jewish or not".

  • 30. VIRick  |  April 5, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Dave, you are being too kind. I especially like Rex Wockner's assessment:

    Mormon Church receives new revelation from God; lifts ban on baptizing LGBT parents' kids, and says same-sex couples are no longer apostates.

    Oh wait! That's actually a quote from the headline in the "Salt Lake Tribune:"

    "LDS Church Dumps Its Controversial LGBTQ Policy, Cites 'Continuing Revelation' from God"

    Note to Self: When it comes to the Mormon Church, one can not make this shit up. They make it up themselves, and then fob it off as "revelation."

  • 31. Randolph_Finder  |  April 5, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    It actually is a difference beyond word games. As an example.

    Case 1) Let's say that you have an LDS couple who have a child and the parents divorce and the father joins a Fundamentalist LDS group and takes multiple wives. In *that* situation, the fact that the father is participating in Polygamy means that he is Apostate and the child of the couple can not be baptised at age 8 or at any point while they are still minors.

    Case 2) Let's say that you have an LDS couple who have a child and the parents divorce and the father commits first degree murder of just about any and all types. The child can still get baptised at age 8.

    Case 3) Let's say that you have an LDS couple who have a child and the parents divorce and the father gets married to another man. Prior to Thursday, the situation on the Child was the same as case 1, *now* it is the same as case 2.

    So prior to Thursday, a child and having a parent in a same sex marriage was *worse* than having a parent who was a first degree murderer..

    There are other situations that apply (including a young man getting the various steps to the priesthood at 12, 14, and 16.

  • 32. VIRick  |  April 4, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Cayman Islands Same-Sex Marriage Up-Date

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Following the strikedown of the ban on marriage equality, the first Cayman Islands marriage of a same-sex couple will take place in the second week of April 2019. The territory's education minister, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, legislative member from Cayman Brac East, has suggested that opponents, uninvited, should attend and disrupt the wedding.

    In response to the minister, Chantelle Day, the lead plaintiff, told CNS, “The marriage law has been modified with immediate effect by the chief justice and same-sex marriage is now legal. The minister of education’s call for objections to our marriage in writing/in person demonstrates a blatant disregard for the rule of law, and raises concerns of abuse of her position of power as a leader in our community. It also shows a complete disregard to the call from the premier urging everyone to act respectfully.”

  • 33. VIRick  |  April 5, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Nuevo León: Announcement of Collective Same-Sex Marriage Event

    Nuevo León: Convocatoria del Matrimonio Igualitario Colectivo

    The LGBT group, Movimento por la Igualdad en Nuevo León (MOVINL), has announced that they are sponsoring a collective same-sex marriage event, to occur immediately following the March for Diversity, Monterrey, on Saturday, 1 June 2019, and that the cost for the processing before the Civil Registry will be without charge for the first 100 couples who sign on as participants. Any same-sex couple wishing to participate in this celebratory collective marriage event should follow these specific particulars in advance:

  • 34. VIRick  |  April 5, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Colorado: 16th State to Ban "Conversion Therapy"

    Colorado will become the 16th state to ban gay "cure therapy," after the state’s legislature overwhelmingly approved the bill. On Friday, 5 April 2019, the Colorado House of Representatives gave a final vote of approval to HB 1129, which will ban the discredited practice of performing "conversion therapy" on minors.
    The bill had passed the state Senate on 25 March by a vote of 21-13, while the House of Representatives gave initial approval in February by a vote of 42-20.

    Having cleared the legislature, the bill now heads to the desk of Colorado governor Jared Polis, who is gay and a champion of LGBT+ rights, to be signed into law.

  • 35. Randolph_Finder  |  April 6, 2019 at 5:50 am

    I wonder which of the 16 states don't have Democratic Party trifectas (both houses and the governorship.

  • 36. scream4ever  |  April 6, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Several had Republican governors who signed them into law (the exception being Paul Lepage of Maine). I believe in Maine and New Hampshire they passed through Republican legislative chambers.

  • 37. VIRick  |  April 6, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    British Virgin Islands: Next British Overseas Territory to Follow Caymans on Marriage Equality

    Per "The BVI Beacon" of 5 April 2019:

    The headline reads: "Caymans Legalize Same-Sex Marriage," but the following article actually concerns the same subject as it pertains to the British Virgin Islands, noting, too, that all references in it to "VI" concern the BVI, not the USVI.

    The Cayman Islands legalized same-sex marriage on 29 March 2019, following a landmark Grand Court decision which ruled that preventing such unions violated the rights to a private and family life guaranteed in the territory’s Constitution. Lawyers for the lesbian couple who brought the case said the ruling could have implications for the wider Caribbean British Overseas Territories, including the Virgin Islands, according to Reuters.

    VI Deputy Premier Dr. Natalio Wheatley acknowledged that the ruling could have implications if the matter were brought to court in the VI. “Whenever you have a ruling in the court, especially another Overseas Territory, that certainly if it comes up here, would be a frame of reference for anyone adjudicating on the matter,” he told "The Beacon" on Tuesday, 2 April 2019.

    However, in the VI, the legality of same-sex marriage is not clear. Politicians and public officers have long stated that the practice is illegal, but there is no VI law that explicitly prohibits same-sex marriages or defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman. The VI’s Marriage Ordinance only prohibits close relatives and people under the age of 16 from receiving marriage licences. Forms attached to the ordinance do include gender-specific terms, but it is unclear whether this fact would constitute a ban on same-sex marriage.

    In the absence of an explicit ban, same-sex marriage would be legal, Jamaican lawyer and gay rights activist, Maurice Tomlinson, told "The Beacon" in 2015, shortly after the Supreme Court of the United States legalized gay marriage throughout the US. “Under the law, what isn’t prohibited is allowed,” he said in an interview at the time.

    Two VI attorneys — both of whom declined to be named because of the controversial nature of the issue here — told "The Beacon" at the time that even if gay marriage were prohibited in the Marriage Ordinance, the law likely could be successfully challengeable under the VI Constitution, which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and describes marriage as a fundamental right.

    Section 20 of the Constitution states that marriage is a right, Section Nine declares that fundamental rights apply to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, and Section 12 states “everyone is equal before the law.” The Constitution also includes a clause similar to the one used in the recent Cayman ruling, guaranteeing the protection of private and family life.

  • 38. VIRick  |  April 6, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Personal Comment Pertaining to the BVI and Marriage Equality

    The Constitution of the British Virgin Islands was deliberately written using gender-neutral language throughout. It is very modern, and quite forward-thinking. As already cited in the article, there is no law in the BVI specifically barring same-sex marriage. The marriage application forms may be gender-specific, and the day-to-day practice may lead one to think that there is a ban. However, as I have long advocated, a same-sex couple simply needs to challenge this day-to-day practice, precisely as was done in the Cayman Islands. And they will win. In fact, the British Virgin Islands court challenge should likely be easier than was the challenge in the Caymans (as it also now includes one more precedent, both Bermuda AND Cayman Islands).

    There is also a reason why the weekly BVI newspaper, "The BVI Beacon," regularly runs pro-marriage-equality articles, like the above, whenever the opportunity presents, and a slightly different reason as to why the Jamaican LGBT attorney, Maurice Tomlinson (who is actually a current resident of Canada), has been to the BVI on a number of occasions.

  • 39. VIRick  |  April 6, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    "La Santa Muerte," the Very Gay-Friendly Saint of Mexico and the US Southwest

    The Catholic religion has more than 10,000 saints, mostly because they were bastardized from older pagan deities, like "La Santa Muerte," a central figure in traditional Mexican folk culture derived from the Aztec religion. Each one is dedicated to their own particular realm, like Barbara, patron saint of explosive devices, and Bibiana, patron saint of hangovers.

    Bishops in New Mexico have recently had to re-remind practicing Catholics not to revere "La Santa Muerte" — the very gay-friendly, Grim Reaper-like figure known as “Our Lady of Holy Death” — because she’s not an officially Church-sanctioned saint.

    Andrew Chesnut, author of "Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint," says that the unofficial folk saint, also known as La Niña Blanca, La Madrina, or La Flaca, has millions of devotees, particularly Latin Americans, immigrants in the US, and Latinx sex workers.

    Unlike other saints, she doesn’t represent a deceased person but rather the literal embodiment of death. She is considered “a supernatural healer, love doctor, money-maker, lawyer, and angel of death” and “her statuettes and paraphernalia now outsell those of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Jude, two other giants of Mexican religiosity,” according to Chestnut.

    The "Washington Post" further explains the appeal of "La Santa Muerte:"

    Popular in Mexico and sometimes linked to drug cartels, "La Santa Muerte" in recent years has found a diverse following north of the border: immigrant small-business owners, artists, gay activists, and the poor, among others — many of them non-Latinos and not all involved with organized religion. Shrines and statues of the skeleton figure, typically depicted wearing a black nun’s robe and holding a scythe, can be found in New Mexico, California, Louisiana, and Texas.

    People pray to Santa Muerte for all manner of otherworldly help, from fending off wrongdoing and exacting revenge, to landing better jobs and stopping lovers from cheating. Others seek her protection for their drug shipments and to ward off law enforcement.

  • 40. VIRick  |  April 8, 2019 at 9:24 am

    SCJN: Aguascalientes Congress Must Approve Equal Marriage

    Per "La Jornada Aguascalientes:"

    SCJN: Congreso de Aguascalientes Debe Aprobar Matrimonio Igualitario

    (El 8 de abril 2019), la SCJN ha solicitado al Congreso modificar la definición de matrimonio en el Código Civil para incluir a parejas del mismo sexo. De no acatar la resolución de la SCJN para modificar el Código Civil del Estado para incluir las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo dentro de la definición de matrimonio, los diputados del Congreso del Estado podrían recibir sanciones e incluso ser enjuiciados políticamente, según la diputada del Morena, Natzielly Teresita Rodríguez Calzada.

    El 2 de abril 2019, la SCJN invalidó la definición del matrimonio como “la unión legal de un solo hombre y una sola mujer” con el fin de “perpetuar la especie y crear en ellos una comunidad de vida,” contemplada en el Código Civil de Aguascalientes, a fin de que sea modificada para incluir a las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo.

    (On 8 April 2019), the SCJN has requested that Congress modify the definition of marriage in the Civil Code to include same-sex couples. If the SCJN resolution is not followed to modify the Civil Code of the State to include unions between persons of the same sex within the definition of marriage, the deputies of the State Congress could receive sanctions and even be prosecuted politically, according to the Morena deputy, Natzielly Teresita Rodríguez Calzada.

    On 2 April 2019, the SCJN invalidated the definition of marriage as "the legal union of one man and one woman" in order to "perpetuate the species and create in them a community of life," as stated in the Civil Code of Aguascalientes, in order to be modified to include unions between people of the same sex.

    Note: Now that the Supreme Court has officially notified the Aguascalientes state Congress of its ruling, same-sex marriages in Aguascalientes should be legal.

  • 41. VIRick  |  April 8, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Perú: Congressional Leaders Favoring Marriage Equality

    Per Alberto de Belaunde:

    Una gran satisfacción escuchar a la ministra de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables, Gloria Montenegro, pronunciarse claramente a favor del matrimonio igualitario por ser un tema de derechos humanos.

    It is a great pleasure to listen to the Minister for Women and Vulnerable Populations, Gloria Montenegro, clearly pronounce in favor of equal marriage as being a human rights issue.

    Note: Alberto de Belaunde is a Congresista Peruana de la Bancada Liberal (Peruvian
    Congress Representative of the Liberal Caucus).

    Gloria Montenegro is also a Congresista de la República del Perú (Congress Representative of the Republic of Perú).

  • 42. VIRick  |  April 8, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Yucatán: Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality

    Per Cindy Aparicio:

    Atención, mañana, el 9 de abril 2019, sesiona la Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales del Congreso de Yucatán y someterán a votación la iniciativa de matrimonio igualitario en Yucatán a las 13:30 horas.

    Attention, tomorrow, 9 April 2019, the Constitutional Points Commission of the Yucatán Congress will meet and vote on the equal marriage initiative in Yucatán at 1:30 PM.

    If the commission approves the measure, it will then go before the full congress for a final vote.

  • 43. VIRick  |  April 8, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Massachusetts Bans "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    Massachusetts has officially banned the harmful, unscientific practice of "conversion therapy" on minors across the state. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill into law on Monday, 8 April 2019. It will go into effect immediately, thus making Massachusetts state #16 to ban the practice.

    The ban prohibits licensed therapists from subjecting minors to the discredited and harmful practice of trying to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Healthcare professionals will now face penalties if they are found to be providing the therapy to anyone under the age of 18.

    Colorado also recently passed the same ban, but the measure awaits the signature of Governor Jared Polis. He has said he will sign it into law, thus making Colorado state #17.

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