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SCOTUS update

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

This morning, the Supreme Court issued an order list from last week’s private conference. The Court still hasn’t acted on a case involving an Oregon baker’s refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex couple, but the Justices did act on one case we’re following. In Doe v. Boyertown, involving a challenge to a school district’s pro-transgender bathroom policy, the Court denied review today, leaving in place a favorable decision upholding transgender rights. We’ll report after the Court’s next conference.


  • 1. VIRick  |  May 28, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    North Macedonia: First-Ever Pride Parade Scheduled

    LGBT+ campaigners are preparing to hold the first-ever Pride parade in the country of North Macedonia. The small Balkan state, which was previously known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, will host its first Pride event in the capital, Skopje, on 29 June 2019.

    It will stand as “a form of protest for affirmation, support, and protection of human rights” for the country’s LGBT community, according to Antonio Mihajlov of the National Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia. According to Radio Free Europe, the gathering will be “open for all to attend, regardless of nationality, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

    A previous attempt to hold a Skopje Pride parade in 2013 was abandoned because Macedonia’s Ministry of Interior could not guarantee marchers’ safety. The country, which has a population of around two million, has a poor record on LGBT+ rights.

    Homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1996, and the country’s law continues to ban recognition of same-sex unions. However, in March 2019, the country’s parliament did approve a new anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity in order to comply with European standards, as the country seeks to join the EU.

  • 2. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    North Macedonia: LGBT Anti-Discrimination Measure Signed into Law

    Per ILGA Europe:

    We are pleased to see that the anti-discrimination law came into effect in North Macedonia after the President signed it on 22 May 2019. Sexual orientation and gender identity are included as protected grounds, which is a result of the LGBTI movement’s efforts for many years.

    North Macedonia now sits in 34th place (among all 49 European nations) with a total of 22 points on Rainbow Europe with the Law on Prevention of and Protection against Discrimination coming into effect.

    The inter-active Rainbow Europe map can be seen here:

    The 49 countries range from Malta at 90% and Belgium at 73% to Armenia at 6%, Turkey at 5%, and Azerbaijan with no score at all.

  • 3. VIRick  |  May 28, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Hong Kong: High Court Hears Landmark Same-Sex Civil Partnership Case

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Tuesday, 28 May 2019, Hong Kong’s high court heard arguments from a plaintiff’s lawyers in a landmark civil partnership case. A lesbian woman, known only as MK, is arguing that preventing her from forming a civil partnership contravenes her rights to equality and privacy.

    MK’s barristers argued that tradition was not an excuse for unjust practices. Examples of traditions around the world include cannibalism, genital mutilation, and quarantining menstruating women, the lawyers said according to an LGBTI activist inside the court.

    MK is seeking a judicial review. She and her lawyers claim Hong Kong’s current stance of not recognizing same-sex unions breaches the Basic Law, the city’s constitution, and the Bill of Rights. During a preliminary hearing in August 2018, the government asked for more time to prepare their case. They said litigation requires input from 13 government departments.

    Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriage. Nor is there any anti-discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI people.

    The MK case is one of three same-sex union cases currently in the courts. Immigration officer Angus Leung, who married his husband in New Zealand five years ago, sued the government in 2015. The government had refused to recognize his marital status and grant his husband benefits such as medical insurance. Hong Kong’s top court is now conducting the final hearings in the case and is expected rule in the next few months.

    Meanwhile, a 21-year-old student, known as TF, and a 31-year-old activist, known as STK, are leading marriage equality challenges. The men argue that the lack of options for same-sex couples to get married violated their right to equality.

  • 4. VIRick  |  May 29, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Italy: Town Near Milan Elects First-Ever Transgender Mayor

    A small town south of Milan has elected a transgender activist as its mayor, in a first for the entire country. Tromello, which has a population of 3,700, voted in Gianmarco Negri as their new mayor on Sunday, 26 May 2019.
    Negri, of the center-left Partido Democrático, won 37.5 percent of the vote. A 40-year-old lawyer, Negri ran under the slogan “CambiaMenti per Tromello,” which is a play on words, alternatively stating, “Changes for Tromello” (if run together as 3 words) or “Changing Minds for Tromello” (if separated into 4 words).

    Negri beat his far-right opponent, Renato Cappa, in the four-way race. Cappa, a candidate for the League (Liga), Italy’s right-wing party, came second with 26 percent of the vote.

    The same news account, practically word for word, but in Spanish, can be found here:

    Italia Elige Su Primer Alcalde Abiertamente Transgénero

    Italy Elects Its First Openly Transgender Mayor

  • 5. VIRick  |  May 29, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Hidalgo: Marriage Equality Bill to Be Published on 3 June 2019

    LGBT Marriage News:

    Yesterday, 28 May 2019, marked the 10th and last day during which the Governor of Hidalgo, Omar Fayad, PRI, could have either vetoed or suggested changes to (further) modify the amendments to the State Family Code which will legalize same-sex marriage. He chose to do neither, thus passively permitting the allowed time for him to take any action to lapse.

    As a result, for its next step, the measure has already been sent off to be published in the Periódico Oficial del Estado de Hidalgo, the official state journal which is printed every Monday. Thus, in this instance, the modifictions will be published on 3 June 2019, to go into effect on the following day, 4 June.

    Please note the specific powers held by Mexican state governors over pending legislation, as well as the specific time constraints within which they must act, should they so choose. The original article, as quoted, but in Spanish, was very precise in its explanation. Unfortunately, the publication in question would not allow me to do my usual copy-and-paste. However, suffice it to state that all Mexican governors have these same three powers, as outlined (in addition to actually signing the legislation), as well as the same time constraints.

  • 6. VIRick  |  May 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    British Columbia: Bill Introduced to Ban Gay "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Just two weeks after a motion from Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons that the legislature “affirm its opposition to the practice of conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, questioning, transgender, queer, two-spirited, intersex or any other minor,” the Green Party has introduced a bill that would ban the practice.

    The legislation would send a message that conversion therapy, which aims to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, is homophobic and transphobic, and has no place in B.C. society, said Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver on Monday, 27 May 2019. The bill, the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Protection Act, would not prohibit conversion therapy for adults, Weaver said, because adults have freedom of choice. However, medical professionals would be prevented from billing the Medical Services Plan for counselling related to changing a person’s sexual or gender identity.

    Note: So-called conversion therapy for minors has already been banned in the provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. A similar measure to ban the practice in Alberta has just been withdrawn as "unnecessary."

  • 7. VIRick  |  May 29, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Maine: Governor Signs Bill to Ban Gay "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 29 May 2019, Maine banned gay "conversion therapy" for minors, joining 16 other states and DC that have outlawed the controversial practice, beating Colorado by two days to become the 17th state to do so. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill today, which will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns next month.

    Conversion therapy aims to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Under the new law, professionals, including school psychologists, pharmacy technicians, and social workers, who have advertised, offered, or administered conversion therapy to a child could face discipline from licensing boards. Maine Republicans failed to pass an amendment to exclude talk therapy and counseling from counting as conversion therapy.

    The irony here could not be stranger. Colorado's legislature passed their bill banning "conversion therapy" for minors some time ago, while Maine was still bouncing theirs back and forth between the House and Senate, each making minor adjustments to which the other then had to agree upon. In the meantime, Colorado's governor, Jared Polis, the nation's first openly gay governor, leisurely announced more than a week ago, that they would be conducting a big splashy signing event this coming Friday, 31 May. Within the past two days, Maine's House and Senate finally agreed upon the exact wording of their approved bill and rushed the results to the governor's desk. Upon receipt late this afternoon, she immediately signed it into law, just as promised, without any further to-do.

  • 8. VIRick  |  May 29, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Guerrero: Good Prospects for Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The state deputy for District 7, Acapulco, Moy Reyes Sandoval, states that his Morena congress group will vote in favor of marriage equality, although the president of the Justice Committee, Omar Jalil Flores Majul (PRI), Taxco, and the PAN deputy, Lupita González Suástegui, are reluctant to support the measure.

    In the 46-member Congress of Guerrero, Morena holds an absolute majority of seats. Thus, the measure ought to pass (if it can ever be forced out of committee), as it needs 24 favorable votes, and all of the following deputies should be voting in favor of marriage equality:

    24 Morena
    07 PRD
    02 PT

    Those against/uncertain/unknown are:

    10 PRI
    01 PAN
    01 Verde
    01 Nueva Alianza

  • 9. allan120102  |  May 29, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    It will be very hard to get a vote. If it can pass committee it will pass but I doubt the Pan president of the committee can make it to never pass it for a floor vote and that is something that I believe it might very well happen.

  • 10. VIRick  |  May 29, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Bermuda: Same-Sex Marriage Appeal Up-Date

    Per statement from OutBermuda:

    “The Government of Bermuda this week (28 May 2019) received their consent from the Court of Appeal in Bermuda to submit their formal Notice of Appeal to the Privy Council; that action will set into motion the rest of the steps and processes and the timing of the hearing in London.”

    “OutBermuda is applying for their case to be expedited and heard in the Privy Council as soon as possible, to validate the will of Bermuda’s highest court and to give absolute certainty to all Bermudian citizens and same-sex couples.” OutBermuda also stated that Lord David Pannick, QC, would be representing them and Mr. Ferguson at the Privy Council.

    LGBTQ charity OutBermuda, one of the respondents in the appeal, also said it expected the Government to lose and for the final bill for Bermuda’s taxpayers to be about $3 million.

    Between May 2017 and June 2018, 20 same-sex couples were married. There have been two more same-sex marriages since the Court of Appeal’s judgment. Since 1 June 2018, three couples have entered into domestic partnerships, with one more union pending.

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  May 29, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    McConnell: Republicans would confirm a justice during 2020 election

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that Republicans would fill an opening on the Supreme Court if there were a vacancy next year — in contrast with 2016, when he stated his fierce opposition to confirming a justice in the last year of a president’s term.

    At a Paducah (Kentucky) Area Chamber of Commerce lunch, McConnell was asked about how he would handle an opening if a justice were to die in 2020, when President Donald Trump is up for reelection. McConnell confidently replied, “Oh, we’d fill it.”

    The Senate majority leader’s stance contrasts with his handling of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Scalia was an ardent conservative voice on the court, and Garland was a relatively moderate choice who had garnered the praise of Republicans in the past.

    But McConnell declared that Obama, a Democrat, would not choose the next justice, saying that voters should have a say through their choice of the next president. He and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to the White House that they wouldn’t take up Obama’s nomination, and Garland never got a confirmation hearing.

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman wrote on Twitter: “Props to the McConnell team for saying the quiet part out loud (and on the record)! They spent 3 years pretending he blocked Garland because of some kind of historical precedent. They finally admitted it's because Garland was nominated by a Democrat.”

    Schumer was more succinct and pointed in his own tweet: “Senator McConnell. is a hypocrite.”

  • 12. FredDorner  |  May 29, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Even worse than being nominated by a Dem is being nominated by a black guy. That's why McConnell and the GOP had to invent some excuse, any excuse to stop the nomination.

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  May 30, 2019 at 2:47 am

    [Being] Transgender no longer recognised as 'disorder' by WHO [World Health Organization]

    Transgender health issues will no longer be classified as mental and behavioural disorders under big changes to the World Health Organization's global manual of diagnoses. The newly-approved version instead places issues of gender incongruence under a chapter on sexual health.

    Dr Lale Say, a reproductive health expert at the World Health Organization, said: "It was taken out from mental health disorders because we had a better understanding that this was not actually a mental health condition, and leaving it there was causing stigma."

    Commenting on the revisions, Graeme Reid, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights director at campaign group Human Rights Watch, said the changes would have a "liberating effect on transgender people worldwide". He added: "Governments should swiftly reform national medical systems and laws that require this now officially outdated diagnosis."

    In some countries, including Japan, individuals can need a mental health diagnosis to make a legally recognised change to their gender.

    Nations will have until January 2022 to put the [WHO's diagnostic manual] changes in place.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  May 30, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Great news, and it happened a lot faster than how long it took the WHO to catch up to the US regarding sexual orientation (1973 to 1990 vs 2010 to 2019).

  • 15. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Ecuador: Constitutional Court to Rule on Marriage Equality on 4 June 2019

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    La Corte Constitucional Resolverá Consulta sobre Matrimonio Igualitario el 4 de Junio

    Efraín Soria y Javier Benalcázar, pareja del mismo sexo, esperan ansiosos la sentencia de la Corte Constitucional que les han anunciado se conocerá el próximo martes, 4 de junio de 2019.

    La pregunta de la Corte de Justicia es si en Ecuador se pueden aplicar derechos favorables sin que medie reforma a la Constitución o a la Ley Orgánica de Datos Civiles.

    Efraín Soria and Javier Benalcázar, same-sex couple, anxiously await the ruling of the Constitutional Court that they have announced will be known next Tuesday, 4 June 2019.

    The question before the Court of Justice is whether in Ecuador favorable rights can be applied without amending the Constitution or the Organic Law on Civil Data.

    Note: This is the first of the two cases for which there has already been a hearing.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Ecuador's Constitutional Court will rule on 4 June on whether the Inter-American Court (CIDH) marriage-equality ruling has force in Ecuador without any change to Ecuadorian law or to the constitution. Possible outcomes include "no," "yes," and "yes, immediately."

  • 16. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Hong Kong: High Court Strikes Down Four Anti-Gay Sodomy Laws

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    "Inconsistent with the Right to Equality:" Hong Kong Court Declares Male Gay Sex Laws Unconstitutional

    On Thursday, 30 May 2019, a series of archaic laws criminalizing certain gay sex acts were struck down as unconstitutional by a Hong Kong judge because they only targeted men and were discriminatory. The ruling is the latest legal victory for Hong Kong’s gay community who have struggled to persuade the pro-Beijing authorities in the international financial hub to allow gay marriage or civil unions.

    The colonial-era laws remained on the books even after Hong Kong decriminalized homosexuality in 1991. A government commission is currently in the process of reviewing the laws, but in the meantime, a volunteer from a local gay rights group brought a legal challenge to the High Court.

    Two of the laws, for example, criminalized the procuring of a man for buggery or for the gross indecency with another man. In the ruling, judge Thomas Au said those two laws and two others were unconstitutional because “no comparable offenses exist for heterosexuals or for female homosexuals."

    “These provisions are inconsistent with the right to equality… and are discriminatory in nature. They are unconstitutional and should be struck down,” he wrote in his judgment. The government did not contest the discriminatory nature of those four laws, making any appeal unlikely. However, government lawyers asked the court to make tweaks to three other laws to make them gender neutral or equal, which judge Au agreed to do.

    Hong Kong Court Abolishes Four Offenses Criminalizing Gay Sex

    The High Court in Hong Kong has abolished four offenses and changed the definition of three more that criminalize sex between men. The court ruled today, 30 May 2019, that the four offenses were unconstitutional and repealed them immediately, according to the South China Morning Post. The decision came about following a case taken by LGBT activist Yeung Chu-wing challenging the laws. The anti-gay laws have been repealed with immediate effect

    Under the laws, gay men could be prosecuted for engaging in sexual acts that are legal for heterosexual people and for some same-sex female couples. The crimes that have been overturned are: procuring others to commit homosexual buggery; gross indecency with or by a man under 16; gross indecency by a man with a man otherwise than in private; and procuring gross indecency by a man with a man.

    Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung also ruled that three other offenses will now apply to both men and women in order to meet constitutional obligations. They are: homosexual buggery with or by a man under 16; gross indecency by a man with a male mentally-incapacitated person; and permitting a young person to resort to or be on a premises or vessel for intercourse, prostitution, buggery, or homosexual acts.

    Tommy Noel Chen of Rainbow Action, a Hong Kong based LGBT rights group, said they had been working to have the laws changed for 20 years. Michael Vidler, Yeung’s lawyer, said Hong Kong’s failure to repeal or amend the laws up until now is “all the more reprehensible” because it has “led to the prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of gay men under these discriminatory laws."

  • 17. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Taiwan: New "Work-Around" in Process for Cross-Strait Same-Sex Couples

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Taipei – The Straits Exchange Foundation (海基會) on Wednesday, 29 May 2019, confirmed that the Ministry of the Interior is prepared to grant legal certificates recognizing gay partnerships between citizens of China and citizens of Taiwan; however, regular marriage licenses are still (not yet) available.

    As the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) works towards amending cross-strait regulations to permit marriage between gay couples with one partner from China, for the time being, as a first step, such couples are encouraged to register for a certificate recognizing their legal partnership. The Chinese citizen first needs to complete an application to certify their unmarried status at a household registry office of a Taiwanese county or municipality. Once they have the certificate, the Chinese citizen and their Taiwanese spouse can complete the registry to receive the certificate of legal partnership.

    The announcement from the Straits Exchange Foundation noted that there have already been two individuals from China who have successfully completed the process since the legalization of gay marriage in Taiwan. Taiwan’s MAC is reportedly organizing cross-department consultations to expedite the process to amend regulations, and to ensure administrative support for personal background checks of incoming Chinese spouses, reports Liberty Times.

    However, the Straits Exchange Foundation on May 29 has now clarified that spouses from China are currently only eligible for sharing a partnership certificate with their Taiwanese partner under the new laws. Due to certain administrative difficulties, it may be some time before the government agencies are able to grant the legal marriage licenses to cross-strait couples.

    So, Taiwan is not considering China to truly be a foreign country, after all.

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Rep. Pramila Jayapal Has a Transgender Child

    Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) had an amazing clap back at Trump and his terrible record on transgender equality. Yesterday, 29 May 2019, Trump claimed at a press conference that he was “the most transparent president” in the history of the US, despite refusing to release his tax returns and White House visitor logs, while suing Congress to stop their subpoenas of his administration.

    Jayapal had a simple response to that brag, and wrote it in an official letter to Trump:

    "Yesterday, you stated emphatically, 'I don’t do cover-ups, you people know that.' You also stated, 'I’m the most transparent president, probably in the history of this country.'

    "In light of your statements, please let me know what time tomorrow I can come over and review documents related to your administration’s decision to rescind Title IX guidance protecting LGBTQ students."

  • 19. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Brasil: Supremo Tribunal Federal Criminalizes Homophobia, Transphobia

    On 23 May 2019, the majority of the Brazilian Supreme Court voted to equate homophobia and transphobia to the crime of racism. The voting has not ended and will continue on 5 June, but the historic decision on 23 May saw six of the 11 possible votes in favor.

    The ruling, in practical terms, means crimes like assault, homicide, slander, or defamation committed in any sphere against LGBTI people are now a crime. It is also a rebuke of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been sharply criticized over his anti-LGBTI rhetoric and policies since he took office on 1 January 2019.

    “Rulings that think about groups that are historically vulnerable have the power to restore society’s paradigms,” São Paulo Congresswoman Érica Malunguinho, the first transgender congresswoman elected in Brasil, told the "Washington Blade." “They redesign the social overview in ways that in this case it is no longer possible to make precarious LGBTIQ+ lives or produce crimes that happen against LGBTIQ+ bodies.”

  • 20. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    South Carolina and HHS Sued by Married Same-Sex Couple over Discrimination in Foster Care Application

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 30 May 2019, in "Rogers v. HHS," Lambda Legal, the ACLU, ACLU of South Carolina, and South Carolina Equality Coalition filed suit against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the state of South Carolina on behalf of a married lesbian couple, Eden Rogers and Brandy Welch, who were turned away by a government-funded foster care agency for failing to meet the agency’s religious criteria, which exclude prospective foster parents who are not evangelical Protestant Christian or who are same-sex couples of any faith.

    Eden and Brandy’s application to serve as foster parents was denied by Miracle Hill Ministries, South Carolina’s largest state-contracted foster care agency, after South Carolina requested and HHS granted a waiver of federal non-discrimination rules for federally-funded agencies. In so doing, HHS and the State authorized and enabled taxpayer-funded foster care agencies to use religious criteria to exclude families based on their faith and sexual orientation.

    Eden and Brandy reached out to Miracle Hill, the primary agency serving the Greenville area where they live. They mentioned they were a same-sex couple and were repeatedly told that Miracle Hill was a Christian agency that follows Christian values and that they would need to submit the online application form. They submitted the form, which asked them to identify their church. They received a response from Miracle Hill, rejecting their application, stating that as members of the Unitarian Universalist Church, their faith “does not align with traditional Christian doctrine.” Miracle Hill’s doctrinal statement also requires families to believe that “God’s design for marriage is the legal joining of one man and one woman,” effectively disqualifying married same-sex couples.

    The complaint can be found here:

    Additional comment on the case from the ACLU is here:

    And from Lambda Legal is here:

  • 21. VIRick  |  May 30, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    San Luis Potosi: Jurisdiction #8 to Recognize Self-Declared Gender Identity

    Per Paula Montero, dated 30 May 2019:

    El Registro Civil de San Luis Potosí está sobrepasado por solicitudes de cambio de sexo en Acta de Nacimiento, tras publicarse en el Periódico Oficial del Estado, del Decreto que permite cambio de identidad sexogenérica.

    The Civil Registry of San Luis Potosí is overwhelmed by requests for change of sex on Birth Certificates, after the Decree was published in the Official State Journal that allows gender identity change.

    So, both San Luis Potosí and Hidalgo have legalized same-sex marriage AND recognized self-declared gender identity during the month of May 2019.

    Note: The 8 jurisdictions allowing for self-declared gender identity are: CDMX, Michoacán, Nayarit, Coahuila, Colima, Baja California, Hidalgo (in 6 months), and San Luis Potosí.

    Note to Wikipedia editors: Colima changed their law in January 2019, while Baja California made an administrative change to allow it from 27 February 2019.

  • 22. VIRick  |  May 31, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Colorado: Gov. Polis Signs Ban on Gay "Conversion Therapy," Trans Birth Certificate Bill

    With great fanfare in a signing ceremony, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis — the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States — has signed into law two pieces of pro-LGBT legislation. One measure bans widely discredited gay "conversion therapy" for youth, while the other, known as Jude’s Law, streamlines the process by which transgender people can change their gender marker on their birth certificates.

    Speaking in front of a group of LGBT supporters, Polis remarked on the progress his state has made in LGBT rights since it enacted Amendment 2 in 1992, an anti-gay law against LGBT city non-discrimination ordinances that was later struck down by the US Supreme Court in "Romer v. Evans."

    HB19-1129, the measure against “ex-gay” therapy, prohibits state-licensed mental health care providers from engaging in the practice on a patient under age 18. A physician or mental health care provider who violates this law engages in unprofessional conduct under the applicable professional licensing board. The newly-enacted law makes Colorado the 18th state to ban the practice.

    The other measure, Jude’s Law, aims to cut through the red tape for transgender people in Colorado trying to update the gender markers on their birth certificate consistent with their gender identity. They are now able to update their gender on their birth certificate to M, F, or X without surgery, a doctor’s note, or court order. Other states have enacted similar birth certificate laws for transgender individuals, but Colorado is only the third state in the country — after California and Oregon — to allow for the non-binary gender option on both driver’s licenses and birth certificates.

  • 23. VIRick  |  May 31, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Federal Workers Shun "Christmas Help," Plan Multiple Pride Events for June

    Amid continuing news of anti-LGBT attacks from the "Christmas Help," LGBT federal employees are still making plans to celebrate Pride in June with events at US agencies, including celebrations at the Pentagon and the State Department. In the face of Trump’s recently-implemented transgender military ban, DOD Pride is planning an event for LGBT service members and civilian employees on 12 June in the Pentagon courtyard.

    The official event is set to have as featured speakers Retired Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, the Federal Aviation Administration’s associate administrator for Commercial Space Transportation; Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), an Iraq war veteran; and LGBT activist Stuart Milk, the nephew of gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk. Rudy Coots, co-chair of DOD Pride, acknowledged the event will mark the eighth time the Pentagon has hosted an official event recognizing June as Pride month, which began after Congress repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during the Obama administration.

    Meanwhile, on Monday, 3 June, GLIFAA, the affinity group for LGBT foreign service officers, is set to co-host an official event at the State Department to celebrate Pride, according to an invitation obtained by the "Washington Blade." The event in the Dean Acheson Auditorium will be co-hosted by the State Department's Office of Civil Rights and the Native American Foreign Affairs Council.

    Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan is slated to give remarks. Delivering the keynote address will be Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), a lesbian and one of two House members to be the first female Native Americans elected to Congress.

    At the Education Department, LGBTQ & Allied Employees of ED is planning a series of events, according to an invitation also obtained by the Blade. Employees are planning to take part in an interagency community service night on Monday, 3 June, at the DC Center, an interagency Pride social on 6 June at Shaw’s Tavern, and the Capital Pride parade on 8 June. An event called “Being LGBTQ : A Panel Discussion and Q&A” is set to take place at the Education Department itself on 11 June.

    A series of events related to Pride is also planned at the Department of Health & Human Services. An HHS spokesperson said HHS Headquarters Diversity & Inclusion Division will sponsor three activities for Pride: A video screening of “50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion” on 12 June, a luncheon event called “Being An Ally To Special Emphasis Groups” on 19 June, and a roundtable event on 20 June to discuss concerns of LGBT employees at HHS.

    Other events already being planned at the Justice Department, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Veterans Affairs are to be announced.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  May 31, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Russian Censors Cut Gay-Sex Scenes Out Of Elton John Biopic

  • 25. VIRick  |  May 31, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Coahuila Congress Exhorts Veracruz Congress to Guarantee Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Exhorta Congreso de Coahuila al de Veracruz a Garantizar el Matrimonio Gay

    El Congreso del estado de Coahuila envió a la Cámara estatal un exhorto para que en su legislación interna realice las adecuaciones legales necesarias para reconocer y garantizar el derecho al matrimonio para las parejas del mismo sexo. El pleno del Congreso de Coahuila aprobó el punto de acuerdo por el que se exhorta a las Legislaturas de los estados que todavía no prevén el matrimonio igualitario en su legislación interna a llevar a cabo dicho proceso. El exhorto además incluye que se deba legislar para reconocer el cambio de género conforme a los criterios jurisprudenciales de la SCJN.

    The Congress of the State of Coahuila sent an exhortation to the Veracruz Congress to make the necessary legal adjustments in its domestic legislation to recognize and guarantee the right to marriage for same-sex couples. The full Congress of Coahuila approved the point of agreement by which the Legislatures of the states that do not yet foresee marriage equality in their internal legislation are urged to carry out this process. The exhortation also includes that legislation must be passed to recognize gender change according to the jurisprudential criteria of the SCJN.

    Note: Coahuila is one of only 8 jurisdictions in Mexico which have already legalized same-sex marriage and which legally allow for self-declaring gender identity. Veracruz is one of 14 states which have done neither. The other 13 also received the same official letter from Coahuila. Veracruz is highlighted in the quoted article only because "El Diario de Xalapa" is a Veracruz publication.

    Note: The 8 jurisdictions allowing for self-declared gender identity are: CDMX, Michoacán, Nayarit, Coahuila, Colima, Baja California, Hidalgo (in 6 months), and San Luis Potosí.

    Note to Wikipedia editors: Colima changed their law in January 2019, while Baja California made an administrative change to allow it from 27 February 2019.

  • 26. VIRick  |  May 31, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Iowa: State Suit Filed to Block Transgender Discrimination in Medicaid

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 31 May 2019, in "Covington v. Iowa Dept. of Human Services," the ACLU of Iowa and the national ACLU LGBT and HIV Project filed a lawsuit to block implementation of a recently passed Iowa law that specifically allows denial of coverage under Medicaid of essential, gender-affirming surgery to transgender Iowans.

    In April 2019, Iowa lawmakers passed legislation that amended the Iowa Civil Rights Act’s protections against discrimination for transgender people in public accommodations that were put into place in 2007. The new law created a new exception to those non-discrimination protections, specifically allowing Medicaid to deny coverage to transgender Iowans for their medically necessary gender-affirming surgery.

    It was passed in response to an Iowa Supreme Court unanimous decision in March that found that an Iowa Medicaid regulation which excluded coverage for medically necessary gender-affirming surgery while providing coverage for all other medically necessary surgery violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act by discriminating on the basis of gender identity. That ruling required that Medicaid must indeed cover such medically necessary surgery for transgender people. The March Supreme Court ruling also determined that public accommodations include Medicaid, which is the government-funded health insurance available to low-income Iowans.

    • Petition for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief is here:
    • Motion for Temporary Injunction is here:
    • Brief in Support of Motion is here:

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  June 1, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Why Mitch McConnell Outmaneuvers Democrats At Filling The Supreme Court

    The Republican Party has been far more invested in the future of the Supreme Court, and of the judiciary generally, than the Democratic Party has. Judicial appointments, especially to the Supreme Court, are a central pillar of the Republican agenda, and Republican voters will forgive any number of other transgressions if the Party delivers on the courts.

    Donald Trump understood this. That’s why, during the 2016 campaign, he released a short list of possible nominees to the Court. The list was largely compiled by Leonard Leo, the executive vice-president of the Federalist Society, and the names on it demonstrated to the Republican base that Trump was serious about following its agenda—starting with overruling Roe v. Wade. Trump’s nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and of dozens of other conservatives to the lower courts, have been crucial to the President’s preservation of his stratospheric level of support from that base. Conservatives forgive Trump his louche personal life and his casual dishonesty because they know that they are getting the judges and the Justices they want.

    Democrats are different. Consider what happened after McConnell blocked the Garland nomination. After a few days of perfunctory outrage, most Democratic politicians dropped the issue. Neither President Obama nor Hillary Clinton, in their speeches before the Democratic National Convention, in July, 2016, even mentioned Garland—or the Supreme Court. Its future was apparently something that neither of them wanted to discuss, or thought that their party, or the nation, wanted to hear about.

    Four years later, this pattern is recurring. Consider, for example, the Web sites of three leading contenders for the Democratic Presidential nomination: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. Each site has thousands of words outlining the candidates’ positions on the issues—and none of them mentions Supreme Court nominations, much less nominations for lower-court judges. These omissions are especially striking in Biden’s case, because he served for decades on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including several years as the chair. He voted on more than a dozen Supreme Court confirmations (including, of course, that of Clarence Thomas) and, as Vice-President, he helped Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan win approval in the Senate. Likewise, since Warren was a law professor before she ran for office, she might be expected to focus on the significance of the Court. But, for the most part, Democrats barely mention it.

    It’s difficult to pinpoint why Republicans are so much more motivated by the Supreme Court than Democrats are. Complacency could be part of the reason. Despite a preponderance of Republicans on the Court for the past couple of generations, the Justices have expanded gay rights, including the right to marriage, and preserved abortion rights, by reaffirming Roe. But, thanks largely to McConnell, and, of course, to Trump, those days are likely over. Trump rallied his supporters by promising to appoint Justices who will vote to overturn Roe, and the day of that vote may soon be upon us. By the time Democrats wake up to the importance of the Court, it may be too late.

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

    Alachua FL County Commission Bans Gay "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Tuesday, 28 May 2019, Alachua County Commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, in support of an ordinance banning gay "conversion therapy." In April 2018, the city of Gainesville passed its own ordinance prohibiting conversion therapy. Now, the surrounding county has followed suit.

    Conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and this ordinance bans licensed professionals from practicing such on minors. Those who violate the ordinance could face a fine of $500.

    Note: Alachua County is the 21st jurisdiction in Florida to ban the practice, and to date, is the furthest one north, in the general direction of South Alabama.

  • 29. Randolph_Finder  |  June 5, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    It is also the home of the University of Florida, which I would imagine is the county's largest employer.

  • 30. VIRick  |  June 1, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Belgium: 16th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Victor Omar Bermudez:

    1 de junio 2003: en Bélgica entra en vigor el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    1 June 2003: In Belgium, marriage between same-sex couples went into effect.

    On this date, Belgium became the second nation worldwide to legalize same-sex marriage, following the Netherlands, the first to do so. However, unlike the Netherlands, where at least one person in the couple must be a citizen, Belgium's law is completely open-ended. Couples from anywhere in the world can marry in Belgium.

    Thus, this date, 1 June 2003, can be seen as the turning point in favor of same-sex marriage, as over the years since, hundreds of couples from everywhere have flocked to Belgium to marry. And, most importantly, they continue to do so from the many countries which have yet to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • 31. ianbirmingham  |  June 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Taylor Swift pens letter to Tennessee senator urging passage of Equality Act

    Taylor Swift is showing her support for the LGBTQ community. On June 1 — the first day of Pride Month — the Grammy-winner penned an open letter addressed to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) urging him to vote for the Equality Act which protects LGBTQ people from discrimination. “For American citizens to be denied jobs or housing based on who they love or how they identify, in my opinion, is un-American and cruel,” the 29-year-old wrote.

    She shared the letter on her social media accounts and captioned the image: “In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate. I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too"

    In her letter, Swift stated that she rejects "the President’s stance that his administration ‘supports equal treatment of all’ but that the Equality Act ‘in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.’ One cannot take the position that one supports a community while condemning it in the next breath as going against ‘conscience’ or ‘parental rights.’ That statement implies that there is something wrong with being anything other than heterosexual and cisgender, which is an incredibly harmful message to send to a nation full of healthy and loving families with same-sex, non-binary or transgender parents, sons or daughters"

    In April of this year, Swift donated $113,000 to a Tennessee LGBTQ advocacy group.

  • 32. VIRick  |  June 2, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Nuevo León: Marriage Equality Is Finally Officially Legal, 31 May 2019

    El matrimonio igualitario en Nuevo León ya no debe tener ninguna traba jurídica, gracias a su publicación en el Diario Oficial de la Federación (DOF) el pasado 31 de Mayo 2019.

    Marriage equality in Nuevo León should no longer have any legal difficulties, thanks to its publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) on 31 May 2019.

    See also "Publican en el DOF Aprobación de Matrimonio Gay en NL" here:

    Note to editors at Wikipedia: The person doing the editing at the time of the SCJN ruling against Jalisco originally had the information correctly posted. The decision against Jalisco was rendered by the SCJN on 26 January 2016, and became legally effective when published in the DOF in late May 2016. And such applies for each and every subsequent SCJN "Action of Unconstitutionality" ruling. The publication date in the DOF is the legally effective date.

    Unfortunately, I see that that correct information concerning Jalisco has now been edited to incorrectly indicate that the SCJN ruling against Jalisco had instantaneous effect. No. In Mexico, that is never the case. Anything and everything is never legally effective until after it has been published, be it court rulings or legislative enactments. In fact, this is a basic rule not only for Mexico, but for all of Latin America.

    Similar incorrect "instantaneous effect" information regarding the SCJN rulings against both Chiapas and Puebla remains incorrectly posted, despite my many admonitions to the contrary. SCJN rulings of "Actions of unconstitutionality" are never legally effective until after they are published in the DOF. Publication date is key, especially when dealing with individuals who wish to continue obfuscating.

    This delayed "legally effective date" thus explains the long time delay (and frustration) experienced in Jalisco, Chiapas, and Puebla by same-sex couples attempting to marry in those states immediately following the respective SCJN rulings. It further explains why we have yet to encounter a single instance of a same-sex marriage occurring without amparo in Aguascalientes since the SCJN ruling against that state in April. The Aguascalientes ruling has yet to be published in the DOF, and thus is not yet legally effective. The 2 April 2019 date is only the date of the SCJN ruling; it is not the date when the ruling also became legally effective. That latter date is yet to be determined.

    I realize that any number of same-sex marriages have occurred in Nuevo León without amparo subsequent to the SCJN ruling against that state. But that is because the state director of the CEDH personally intervened in each and every case in and around Monterrey to assure that the couples in question were duly married without additional legal cover. Such did not happen in Jalisco, Chiapas, nor Puebla, nor is it currently happening in Aguascalientes. Thus, in practice, Nuevo León is not the rule; Nuevo León is the exception. Still, the date the SCJN ruled against Nuevo León is 19 February 2019; the date said ruling became legally effective is 31 May 2019.

  • 33. VIRick  |  June 2, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    More on SCJN "Action of Unconstitutionality" Rulings

    In the court ruling of 19 February 2019 against Nuevo León (and in similar rulings against each and every one of the other states so far, and in any subsequent case that might occur), as the 3rd and 4th point within the actual ruling itself, it clearly specifies that it will become legally effective once all of these matters have officially occurred:

    TERCERO: Las declaraciones de invalidez decretadas en este fallo, así como sus efectos, se surtirán a partir de la notificación de los puntos resolutivos de esta sentencia al Poder Legislativo del Estado de Nuevo León.

    THIRD: The declarations of invalidity decreed in this ruling, as well as their effects, shall be served upon the Legislative Power of the State of Nuevo León, notifying them of the operative paragraphs of this judgment.

    CUARTO: Publíquese esta resolución en el Diario Oficial de la Federación (DOF), en el Periódico Oficial del Estado de Nuevo León, así como en el Semanario Judicial de la Federación y su Gaceta.

    FOURTH: Publish this resolution in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), in the Official Newspaper of the State of Nuevo León, as well as in the Judicial Weekly of the Federation and its Gazette.

    Said ruling against Nuevo León was finally published in the DOF on 31 May 2019, the last of the required publications cited in the actual ruling itself.

    This information about points #3 and #4 was already presented in Spanish here at Equality on Trial on 19 February 2019. In fact, one can read the entire ruling right here:

    Even the following information, dated 26 February 2019, pointing out the completion of Step #3, is incorrectly premature in that it is ignoring the completion of all of Step #4:

    Nuevo León: Marriage Equality Is Now a Reality

    Nuevo León: El Matrimonio Igualitario Ya Es una Realidad

    A partir de este martes, 26 de febrero 2019, el matrimonio civil igualitario ya es una realidad en Nuevo León, luego de que el Congreso local fue notificado sobre la resolución que emitió la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) para invalidar los Artículos 140, 147, y 148 que impedían el enlace de dos personas del mismo sexo.

    As of this Tuesday, 26 February 2019, equal civil marriage is now a reality in Nuevo León, after the state Congress was notified of the ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) invalidating Articles 140 , 147, and 148 that prevented the joining of two people of the same sex.

  • 34. VIRick  |  June 2, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    The following is a re-posting to show the assistance given by the state director of the CEDH to the first same-sex marriage to occur in Nuevo León without amparo, as he was present as a witness to the event (and who, to date, has witnessed any and all subsequent same-sex marriages within the state). Now that the SCJN ruling finally has legal effect, his presence will no longer be required.

    Nuevo León: First Same-Sex Marriage in the State (Without Amparo) Just Occurred, 11 March 2019

    Per CEDH Nuevo León:

    El día de hoy, el 11 de marzo 2019, se celebró el primer matrimonio igualitario en Nuevo León, sin interponer un amparo legal de por medio, en la Oficialía No. 1 del Registro Civil de San Nicolás de los Garza, NL. La CEDHNL atestiguó el evento, en el que dos mujeres hicieron uso de sus derechos civiles para contraer matrimonio.

    Today, 11 March 2019, the first equal marriage was celebrated in Nuevo León, without the need for filing for an amparo, in Office No. 1 of the Civil Registry of San Nicolás de los Garza, NL. The CEDHNL witnessed the event, in which two women utilized their civil right to marry.

    With this first event, marriage equality, per Supreme Court ruling, has now been duly implemented in Nuevo León (and much quicker than what one might have otherwise anticipated).

    CEDHNL = Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos Nuevo León (State Human Rights Commission Nuevo León)

    Note: However, even at this point, despite its having been implemented, the ruling was still not legally in effect until after it had been published in the DOF.

  • 35. VIRick  |  June 2, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    "LGBT Marriage News" Unhappy over "Pink News" Lack of Up-Dated Fact-Checking

    Per LGBT Marriage News, referring to the number of states in the USA which have banned gay "conversion therapy:"

    Pink News’ fact-checking is a fucking embarrassment. It’s 18, guys. A simple Wikipedia search would’ve found that.

    Per Pink News, referring to Colorado, while showing an outdated map which skips what recently occurred in both Massachusetts and Maine:

    16 down, 34 to go.

    Remember, "Pink News" is British. It is a mystery to the British as to why the USA has so many states. Of course, I have always wondered myself as to the necessity of one Dakota, let alone the need for two of them.

    Besides, we all make mistakes. For example, I "lost" two states in Mexico in my count concerning those which allow for self-declaration on gender identity, claiming there currently are 6 jurisdictions allowing it, when in fact there will be 8. In fact-checking on the SCJN ruling against Nuevo León, immediately above, I found the two "lost" states, namely Colima (changed law in January 2019) and Baja California (changed administratively in late February 2019). The difference is this: No one called me out for it. And Wikipedia has not noted either of those two states as having made any change. So, referring to Wikipedia does not automatically work. Instead, I merely up-dated two posts higher up in this thread with the corrected information, and hope that someone at Wikipedia will notice.

  • 36. allan120102  |  June 2, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Morena has won the gobernorship in two additional states. Will make it easier to win lgbt rights. Thise are Baja California and Puebla.

  • 37. VIRick  |  June 3, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Japan: Opposition Parties Submit Same-Sex Marriage Bill

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Monday, 3 June 2019, Japan’s major opposition parties submitted a bill calling for same-sex marriage in the world’s third-biggest economy, a move that comes weeks after Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize gay marriage.

    The bill is unlikely to go far in parliament, where the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party has barely budged to advance civil rights for LGBT people, even though business leaders have demanded change, saying current policies are hurting their ability to attract top global talent.

    The bill from the Constitutional Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, and others states that marriage will be established on the basis of marriage equality. Neutral language will be adopted with the terms “party of marriage” used in place of “husband” and “wife,” while “father and mother” will be replaced by “parent.”

    The Japanese public appears more tolerant than the LDP, which has controlled the government for all but four years since 1955. Homosexual relationships were long condoned among the samurai class and Buddhist monks before Japan’s mid-19th century modernization and adoption of “western” values.

  • 38. VIRick  |  June 3, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    San Marino: Voters Amend Constitution to Ban Sexual Orientation Discrimination

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Sunday, 2 June 2019, voters in San Marino passed a referendum to add a ban on “sexual orientation” discrimination to their constitution, with an approval rating over 70%:

    Risultato ancora più netto sul secondo quesito dove i "sì" hanno superato il 70 per cento. Gli abitanti hanno chiesto che venga modificato l’articolo 4 della Dichiarazione dei diritti, la costituzione sammarinese, introducendo il divieto di discriminazione in base all’orientamento sessuale. San Marino diventa così l'undicesimo stato al mondo a prevederlo. Per Arcigay Rimini, si tratta di un successo dove gli elettori hanno espresso la chiara volontà di introdurre una “fondamentale evoluzione del diritto.”

    There was an even better net result on the second question where the "yeses" exceeded 70 percent. The inhabitants requested that Article 4 of the Declaration of Rights, the San Marino constitution, be amended by introducing the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation. San Marino thus becomes the eleventh state in the world to approve it. For Arcigay Rimini, this is a success where voters have expressed a clear desire to introduce a "fundamental evolution of law."

  • 39. Randolph_Finder  |  June 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    The question is whether or not that will allow Sammarinese couples to get married in San Marino…

  • 40. VIRick  |  June 3, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Latest Surge Across US-Mexico Border: Americans Heading South

    Trump regularly assails the flow of migrants crossing the Mexican border into the United States. Much less noticed has been the huge surge of people heading in the opposite direction. Mexico’s statistics institute estimated this month that the US-born population in this country has reached 799,000, roughly a fourfold increase since 1990. And that is probably an undercount. The US Embassy in Mexico City estimates the real number at 1.5 million or more.

    They’re a mixed group. They’re digital natives who can work just as easily from Puerto Vallarta as from Palo Alto. And they’re US-born kids — nearly 600,000 of them — who have returned with their Mexican-born parents. And they’re US-born retirees. Plus, if the thousands of Mexican citizens moving back home are also taken into account, the flow of migrants from the United States to Mexico is larger than the flow of Mexicans still going to the United States.

    The American immigrants are pouring money into local economies, renovating historic homes, and changing the dynamics of Mexican classrooms. Mexican authorities also say that many of the Americans are probably undocumented — typically, they’ve overstayed their six-month visas. But the government has shown little concern. For all the images of worn-down Central Americans crossing Mexico in caravans, the vast majority of immigrants to this country, around 75 percent, are from the United States.

    Since 2015, census data shows, more Mexicans have returned home each year than what have moved to the United States. Data from 2017, the most recent year for which numbers are available, showed a net decrease of 300,000 Mexican immigrants in the United States. Some of the Mexicans heading south were deported or felt increasingly unwelcome in the United States. Others were drawn back home by improved economic opportunities. Mexico’s population growth has slowed as education levels have risen, reducing the local competition for jobs. And many of the returning Mexicans have brought little Americans right along with them.

  • 41. arturo547  |  June 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Ecuador has just legalized same-sex marriage.

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