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SCOTUS update 6/10

Community/Meta Discrimination

The Supreme Court granted review in five new cases this morning and issued three decisions, but the Court still has not acted on the Klein case. That case involves a bakery’s refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. We’ll report back after the next conference, and we’ll report any breaking news.


  • 1. VIRick  |  June 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Hidalgo: From Today, Marriage Equality Is Official

    Hidalgo: A Partir de Hoy, Matrimonio Igualitario Es Oficial

    A partir de este martes, once de junio 2019, las parejas conformadas por personas del mismo sexo ya podrán casarse y tendrán acceso al reconocimiento de su concubinato, luego que este lunes, el 10 de junio 2019, el gobernador Omar Fayad Meneses publicara en el Periódico Oficial del Estado las reformas a la Ley para la Familia de Hidalgo que lo hace posible. La publicación oficial se refiere a la reforma a los Artículos 8 y 28 fracción I, y primeros párrafos del 143 y 151 de la Ley para la Familia del estado de Hidalgo, con lo cual a partir de este martes, el once, el matrimonio y concubinato para parejas del mismo sexo será una realidad en el Estado.

    Yolanda Molina, dirigente del capítulo hidalguense de la organización, México Igualitario, señaló que esta publicación oficial "manda un mensaje positivo respecto al compromiso de los derechos humanos de todas las personas en Hidalgo." Las parejas del mismo sexo que accedan al matrimonio o al concubinato tendrán todos los derechos y obligaciones que la legislación estatal contempla para los matrimonios y concubinatos heterosexuales como: el parentesco con la familia, herencias, acceso a seguridad social, y adopción.

    From this Tuesday, 11 June 2019, same-sex couples can now marry and have access to recognition of their cohabitation, after Governor Omar Fayad Meneses published the reforms to the Hidalgo Law for the Family in the Official Publication of the State on 10 June 2019 that makes it possible. The official publication refers to the reform of Articles 8 and 28, section I, and the first paragraphs of 143 and 151 of the Family Law of the state of Hidalgo, with which, as of tomorrow, the 11th, marriage and cohabitation for same-sex couples will be a reality in the State.

    Yolanda Molina, director of the Hidalgo chapter of the organization, México Igualitario, said that this official publication "sends a positive message regarding the commitment to the human rights of all people in Hidalgo." Same-sex couples who have access to marriage or cohabitation will have all the rights and obligations that state legislation provides for heterosexual marriages and cohabitation, such as kinship with family, inheritance, access to social security, and adoption.

    Note: As is fairly standard procedure throughout Mexico, the reforms in Hidalgo legalizing same-sex marriage, recognizing cohabiting same-sex couples who have lived together for more than 3 years, and allowing same-sex couples the right to adopt will all have legal effect on the next date subsequent to their official publication. On the other hand, the recently-passed measure (in April 2019) on self-declaring gender identity specifically stated in that particular legislation that there would be a 6-month delay (until October) following its publication before its actual implementation, a point which is rather unusual.

  • 2. VIRick  |  June 10, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Nevada: Referendum to Officially Drop Defunct Constitutional Ban on Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Nevada state legislature has voted to hold the referendum in 2020 to officially scrap the defunct state constitutional ban on equal marriage. Any proposal from lawmakers to amend the state constitution must be approved by the Legislature two sessions in a row, a point which has now been done, and then be approved by voters in a referendum ballot, the third and final step. Other referendum measures will add a voters' bill of rights and overhaul the state board of pardons.

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 10, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Tuxtepec, Oaxaca: First LGBTI Pride March

    Per Jossiel Aran B. from Tuxtepec:

    Primera marcha LGBTTTI en Tuxtepec el sábado, 15 de junio 2019 , 6:30 PM, al Malecón Paso Real.

    First LGBTTTI march in Tuxtepec on Saturday, 15 June 2019, 6:30 PM, on the Malecón Paso Real.

    Tuxtepec is the second-most populous municipality in Oaxaca. It is situated way in the northern part of the state, directly on the Veracruz state line, due south of the port of Veracruz, in the Papaloapan basin, not overly far from where I used to live in southern Veracruz state. We crossed the wide, sluggish Papaloapan River (by car ferry) all the time. I am surprised (and quite elated) to note that Tuxtepec is mounting its first very own LGBT Pride parade.

  • 4. VIRick  |  June 10, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Botswana Court to Rule on Scrapping Anti-Gay Laws

    Per Rob Salerno:

    Gaborone – On Tuesday, 11 June 2019, Botswana could decriminalize gay sex when its high court is due to rule in a landmark case being watched across Africa after Kenya recently upheld its own anti-homosexuality laws. Currently, homosexual acts are outlawed in Botswana, one of Africa's most stable, democratic nations, under the country's penal code of 1965. An unnamed applicant is challenging two sections of the code that threaten offenders with a jail sentence of up to seven years.

  • 5. VIRick  |  June 10, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    New Jersey State Court: JOHAH Redux in Continuing "Conversion Therapy" Scam

    Today, 10 June 2019, in New Jersey state court, in "Ferguson v. JONAH," SPLC's suit against the notorious conversion therapy organization for fraudulent practices, the Motion to enforce the injunction and for default judgment is GRANTED.

    Judge Bariso granted the plaintiffs' motion in all respects except for the request to hold the defendants in criminal contempt.

    From the order:
    • 1. JONAH, Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk have violated the Permanent Injunction by failing to “permanently cease any and all operations” of JONAH as required by Paragraph 1 of the Permanent Injunction, including through the founding and operation of the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness or “JIFGA”;
    • 2. JIFGA is a successor in interest to and a mere continuation of JONAH;
    • 3. JONAH, Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk have violated the Permanent Injunction by engaging in Conversion Therapy and promoting Conversion Therapy-related commerce;
    • 4. The Permanent Injunction violations committed by JONAH, Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk were willful such that it is proper to award to Plaintiffs their fees and costs incurred in bringing the Motion; and
    • 5. JONAH, Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk have breached their obligations under the parties’ December 17, 2015 settlement agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”), which breaches have not been and cannot be cured.
    In addition to defendants JONAH, Arthur Goldberg, and Elaine Berk being held responsible for the remaining portion of $3.5M not already paid, Goldberg and Berk "are permanently enjoined from incorporating or serving as officers, directors or trustees or in any position having the duties of an officer, director or trustee of any tax-exempt entity incorporated in or having any operations in New Jersey."

    JIFGA will be required to permanently cease all operations within 30 days and dissolve as a corporation and liquidate all its assets within 180 days.

    The full order and Memorandum of Decision is here:

    I love the play on words in the Order; despite the fact that the defendants, Goldberg and Berk, continue to claim that they have found the secret "cure" for gayness, the judge himself found their breaches to the settlement agreement something that have not been and can not be cured.

  • 6. FredDorner  |  June 11, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Actually "no cure" is just a common legal phrase which in this context means that there is no remedial action which the defendants can perform to fix their violations of the agreement. While the double entendre could be intentional I rather doubt it is.

    This is very good to see. The defendants have effectively been banned from running any kind of business in NJ.

  • 7. VIRick  |  June 10, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Pau, Panamanian, Trans Man and Spokesperson before the OAS

    Per Iván Chanis:

    Pau, Panameño, Hombre Trans y Vocero ante la OEA

    El líder de la organización, Hombres Trans de Panamá, pelea por los derechos humanos dentro y fuera del país.

    The leader of the organization, Trans Men of Panamá, fights for human rights inside and outside the country.

    For those who can understand spoken Spanish, here's a video featuring Pau, produced and aired by TVN Noticias, Panamá, on 10/06/2019:

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  June 11, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Botswana's high court strikes down laws criminalizing same sex sexual activity.

  • 9. scream4ever  |  June 11, 2019 at 5:45 am

  • 10. JayJonson  |  June 11, 2019 at 6:54 am

    More on the Botswana ruling may be found here:

    And here:

  • 11. VIRick  |  June 11, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Botswana High Court Decriminalizes Homosexuality

    On Tuesday, 11 June 2019, Botswana’s High Court issued a ruling that decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations in the African country. The court unanimously ruled that Sections 164, 165, and 167 of the Botswana penal code criminalizing homosexuality with up to seven years in prison were unconstitutional. Activists were inside the court room when the three judges issued their ruling.

    “It has taken a long time for our community to be where it is,” said Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, chief executive officer of Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo), a Botswana LGBTI advocacy group. “This incredibly life-changing decision, although it does not right all the wrongs done to individual members of the LGBT community, is a step toward restoring our dignity as human beings.”

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  June 11, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Pence says it was 'right decision' to prohibit flying LGBT rainbow flag outside US embassies

    Vice President Pence on Monday defended the State Department's decision to bar U.S. embassies from flying rainbow flags on their flagpoles during LGBT Pride Month, saying that it was the "right" move. … when it comes to the American flagpole and American embassies and capitals around the world, having the one American flag fly is the right decision," he said, adding that the Trump administration had administered no other restrictions regarding flags or displays at U.S. embassies.

    Some U.S. diplomats responded to the rejections by displaying the LGBT pride flag in different settings. For example, diplomatic missions in Seoul, South Korea, and Chennai, India, sent out press releases and videos showing the flag hanging outside their respective buildings. The Washington Post noted that other embassies opted to display the rainbow flag on building facades.

    The Trump administration policy largely differs from that of the Obama administration during Pride Month. The prior administration instituted rules that the rainbow flag needed to be smaller than the American flag and fly beneath it. It also left the decision to fly the pride flag up to each ambassador or chief of mission by 2016, the Post reported.

  • 13. VIRick  |  June 11, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Ecuador: Constitutional Court Will Meet This Wednesday to Again Analyze Marriage Equality

    Ecuador: Corte Constitucional se Reuniría Este Miércoles para Analizar Nuevamente el Matrimonio Igualitario

    Per Rex Wockner;

    "Expreso" se comunicó este martes, 11 de junio 2019, con Efraín Soria para saber si había recibido alguna notificación. Entonces respondió: “Extraoficialmente, me dijeron que la Corte se reunirá mañana, miércoles, 12 de junio, para analizar nuevamente el tema. Esperamos que tengan sensibilidad para dictar un fallo positivo.”

    La última vez que los magistrados se reunieron en el salón del Pleno de la Corte Constitucional, tardaron más de cinco horas en analizar la aplicación de la Opinión Consultiva 24/17, (para) que permite a dos personas del mismo sexo contraer matrimonio sin que sean necesaria una reforma a la Constitución. Finalmente, no hubo una resolución.

    "Expreso" communicated this Tuesday, 11 June 2019, with Efraín Soria so as to know if he had received any notification. He replied thus: "Unofficially, they told me that the Court will meet tomorrow, Wednesday, 12 June, to again analyze the issue. We hope they have the sensitivity to make a positive ruling."

    The last time the justices met in the plenary hall of the Constitutional Court, they took more than five hours to analyze the application of Advisory Opinion 24/17, so as to allow two people of the same sex to marry without requiring reform to the Constitution. Finally, there was no resolution.

  • 14. VIRick  |  June 11, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Cameroon: Alice Nkom and Her Tireless Struggle for LGBT Human Rights

    Out of more than 2,000 lawyers in Cameroon, Alice Nkom and her colleague Michel Togué are the only two prepared to defend the human rights of the local LGBTQ community. Nkom has devoted her life to upholding these rights, as the queer community has always faced violence and brutality.

    In Cameroon, same-sex relationships are banned under the criminal code. Those convicted receive between six months and five years in prison, and fines ranging between 20,000 and 200,000 West African CFA Francs. That coverts to approximately $345 US.

    Nkom founded the Association for the Defence of Homosexuals (ADEFHO), which is the only organization in Cameroon to advocate for the human rights of the LGBTQ community. Through this organization, Nkom has tirelessly defended those convicted and imprisoned. She is also challenging these laws, and encouraging their repeal as soon as possible.

    Needless to say, Nkom has no shortage of work. “I know there’s a risk but when you are doing something that is right, you just do it and take care,” Nkom said. “Someone has to do this.”

  • 15. VIRick  |  June 11, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Baja California Sur: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Despite a lot of continuing noise from the Frente Nacional por la Familia (to which this first report gives too much space), deputy María Rosalba Rodríguez López, Morena, president of the Commission on Gender Equality, is not taking flack from anyone, and instead is steadily moving forward, undeterred. Today, in response to their foolish allegations of their being "discriminated" against:

    Respondió que ha su escritorio no ha llegado ninguna solicitud para reunirse con la agrupación. (She responded that her desk had not received any request to meet with the group.)

    The crux of the matter to the entire issue (besides the fact that she knows she has the votes and the Frente Nacional por la Familia does not) is this:

    La iniciativa, en la que se propone reconocer el matrimonio igualitario en el estado, fue presentada el pasado 7 de mayo 2019, por lo que esta puede ser dictaminada antes de que concluya el periodo ordinario.

    The initiative, in which it is proposed to recognize marriage equality in the state, was presented on 7 May 2019, so that it can be completed and finalized before the end of the current regular session.

    As a quick retrospective:

    La diputada María Rosalba Rodríguez López, Morena, presidenta de la Comisión de Igualdad de Género, presentará hoy (7 de mayo 2019) ante el Pleno del Congreso del Estado de Baja California Sur (BCS), Iniciativa con Proyecto de Decreto, para legalizar el matrimonio igualitario en la entidad. Por medio de ese Decreto, se reformarán los Artículos 150, 157, 173, 174, 176, 218, 219, 220, 260, 262 y 330, todos del Código Civil para el Estado Libre y Soberano de BCS.

    Deputy María Rosalba Rodríguez López, Morena, president of the Gender Equality Commission, will present today (7 May 2019) before the Plenary Session of the Congress of the State of Baja California Sur (BCS), the Initiative with Draft Decree, to legalize equal marriage in the entity. By means of this Decree, Articles 150, 157, 173, 174, 176, 218, 219, 220, 260, 262 and 330, all of the Civil Code for the Free and Sovereign State of BCS, will be reformed.

  • 16. VIRick  |  June 12, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Constitutional Court of Ecuador Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

    Per "El Universo:"

    Hoy día, el 12 de junio 2019, la Corte Constitucional del Ecuador dio paso al matrimonio civil igualitario en Ecuador, al resolver 2 casos de consulta de norma presentada por la Corte Provincial de Pichincha referente a dos parejas del mismo sexo.

    Today, 12 June 2019, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador gave approval to equal civil marriage in Ecuador, by resolving 2 cases of standard consultation presented by the Provincial Court of Pichincha concerning two same-sex couples.

    Per Demus Perú:

    La Corte Constitucional (del Ecuador) abre paso al matrimonio igualitario conforme a la Opinión Consultiva 24/17 hecha por Costa Rica a la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH).

    The Constitutional Court (of Ecuador) opens the way for equal marriage in accordance with the Advisory Opinion 24/17 made by Costa Rica to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH).

    Per La Línea de Fuego‏:

    Con cinco votos a favor y cuatro en contra, el pleno de la Corte Constitucional aprobó hoy, 12 de junio de 2019, el matrimonio civil igualitario en el país. Ecuador es el país número 28 en reconocerlo.

    Today, 12 June 2019, with five votes in favor and four against, the full Constitutional Court approved equal civil marriage in the country. Ecuador is the 28th country to recognize it.

    Per Revista Plan V:

    Una mayoría de cinco jueces aprobó (el punto) que la Opinión Consultiva de la Corte Interamericana sobre el matrimonio igualitario tenga vigencia en el país.

    A majority of five judges approved (the point) that the Advisory Opinion of the Inter-American Court on equal marriage holds validity in the country.

    Per Tania Tinoco:

    Estos jueces lo hicieron posible : Karla Andrade, Ramiro Avila, Daniela Salazar, y Agustin Grijalba. El voto crucial correspondió a Alí Lozada. Ha sido aprobado el matrimonio igualitario en Ecuador.

    These judges made it possible: Karla Andrade, Ramiro Avila, Daniela Salazar, and Agustin Grijalba. The crucial vote belongs to Alí Lozada. Marriage equality has been approved in Ecuador.

  • 17. davepCA  |  June 12, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Excellent! Do we have info on what happens next? i.e. do marriages start immediately or is there a wait until an effectivity date, is there a delay until some laws are changed via legislative action, etc.?

  • 18. arturo547  |  June 12, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    The Court has already published its press release. It says that they voted two cases: first they decided 5-4 that the OC24 from the IACHR is binding in Ecuador, and second, they declared the marriage law unconstitutional. That’s awesome! It means that the ruling has a broad effect. However, it didn’t say if the ruling has immediate effect, because they also mention that they have ordered the Ecuadorian Assembly to legalize ssm. Let’s hope it is not the same case as Costa Rica and Taiwan.

  • 19. VIRick  |  June 12, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Some Details of the Constitutional Court Ruling in Ecuador

    Per Rex Wockner:

    This report says the ruling has "immediate application" and will likely be final in 3 days, but also that it must be published in the Official Register, and requires the National Assembly to change the constitution and laws, as the now-defunct marriage law is unconstitutional. It does not say when marriage equality would begin:

    Decisión de Matrimonio Igualitario Deberá Publicarse en Gaceta Constitucional

    Aunque el fallo de la Corte Constitucional sobre el matrimonio homosexual es de aplicación inmediata, si es que no se presentan recursos de aclaración o ampliación de alguna de las partes, quedará en firme en tres días, explicaron fuentes cercanas a la institución ecuatoriana. Solo entonces se publicará en la Gaceta Constitucional. A la Asamblea Nacional le corresponderá, luego, realizar las reformas constitucionales y legales que correspondan para modificar el concepto de matrimonio, que consta en la normativa ecuatoriana.

    La corte adoptó tal decisión luego de que recibiera una consulta por parte de la Corte Provincial de Pichincha referente a la demanda planteada por Xavier Benalcázar y Efraín Soria, además de Rubén Salazar y Carlos Verdesoto, activistas que recurrieron a todas las instancias legales demandando su derecho a contraer matrimonio.

    Ecuador únicamente reconocía el matrimonio heterosexual, y como un elemento de menor jerarquía, la unión de hecho, una declaración notarial en la que dos personas señalan que viven juntas. La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) emitió una opinión favorable para que Ecuador apruebe el matrimonio igualitario, argumento aprobado hoy por los jueces de la Corte.

    Decision on Marriage Equality Must Be Published in the Constitutional Gazette

    Although the ruling of the Constitutional Court on same-sex marriage is of immediate application, if there are no requests for clarification or expansion from any of the parties, it will be final in three days, explained sources close to the Ecuadorian institution. Only then will it be published in the Constitutional Gazette. The National Assembly will then be responsible for carrying out the corresponding constitutional and legal reforms to modify the concept of marriage, as included in the standards of the Ecuadorian ruling.

    The court adopted such decision after receiving a query from the Provincial Court of Pichincha regarding the lawsuit filed by Xavier Benalcázar and Efraín Soria, as well as by Rubén Salazar and Carlos Verdesoto, activists who had appealed their cases demanding their right to marry.

    Ecuador had only recognized heterosexual marriage, and as an element of lower status, the de facto union, a notarial declaration in which two people indicate that they live together. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) issued a favorable opinion that Ecuador approve marriage equality, an argument approved today by the judges of the Court.

    Per ANC Ecuador:

    Los jueces de la Corte Constitucional aprobaron los casos de matrimonio igualitario de Efraín Soria y Javier Benalcázar, así como de Rubén Salazar y Carlos Verdesoto, con cinco votos a favor y cuatro en contra este 12 de junio 2019.

    The judges of the Constitutional Court approved the equal marriage cases of Efraín Soria and Javier Benalcázar, as well as of Rubén Salazar and Carlos Verdesoto, with five votes in favor and four against this 12 June 2019.

  • 20. VIRick  |  June 12, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    Constitutional Court of Ecuador Approves Equal Marriage in a Mandatory Decision

    Corte Constitucional de Ecuador Aprueba Matrimonio Igualitario en una Decisión Obligatoria

    El 12 de junio 2019, la Corte Constitucional de Ecuador aprobó el matrimonio igualitario, sentando jurisprudencia en un país donde la Constitución establece que el matrimonio es la unión entre hombre y mujer. La corte precisó en un comunicado que el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo fue aprobado en una sesión reservada, con el voto de cinco de sus nueve miembros.

    "El pronunciamiento es obligatorio en el país porque las decisiones de la Corte Constitucional obligan a las autoridades ecuatorianas a acatarlas," dijo a la AFP el constitucionalista Gustavo Medina. "Tendrá que ser aplicada." La resolución "es vinculante u obligatoria, por lo que tendrá que aplicarse en el país," enfatizó Medina, ex-presidente de la Suprema Corte de Justicia y ex-procurador (abogado) del estado ecuatoriano.

    El abogado, Christian Paula de la Fundación Pakta, que asesora legalmente a casi una decena de parejas del mismo sexo que buscan casarse en el país, consideró que lo resuelto "implica que el Ecuador es más igualitario, es más justo que ayer, y que se reconoce que los derechos humanos deben caber para todas las personas sin discriminación."

    On 12 June 2019, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador approved equal marriage, establishing jurisprudence in a country where the Constitution establishes that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. In a reserved session, the court said in a statement that marriage between people of the same sex was approved, with the vote of five of its nine members.

    "The pronouncement is mandatory in the country because the decisions of the Constitutional Court oblige the Ecuadorian authorities to comply with them," Constitutionalist Gustavo Medina told AFP. "It will have to be applied." The ruling "is binding or mandatory, so it will have to be applied in the country," said Medina, former president of the Supreme Court of Justice and former prosecutor (lawyer) for the Ecuadorian state.

    The lawyer, Christian Paula of the Pakta Foundation, who has provided legal advice to almost a dozen same-sex couples seeking to marry in the country, considered that the ruling "implies that Ecuador is more egalitarian, more just than yesterday, and that it recognizes that human rights must fit all people without discrimination."

  • 21. VIRick  |  June 12, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Comment on Constitutional Court of Ecuador's Marriage Equality Ruling

    Today's ruling is truly profound on any number of levels:

    1. The court acknowledged that the CIDH ruling (Advisory Opinion 24/17) on marriage equality is binding on Ecuador and takes precedence over any Ecuadorian law or Ecuadorian constitutional provision to the contrary.

    2. Thus, Ecuador's current marriage law is unconstitutional, as is Article 67 of Ecuador's own constitution. Both must be changed in order to be in accordance with the CIDH. These changes are mandatory.

    3. In effect, Ecuador's Constitutional Court is also acknowledging that OC 24/17 is not just binding on the requesting member state, Costa Rica, but also on all the others which are signatories to the CIDH. By signing the accord, they have already agreed to the binding nature of said "advisory opinions."

    4. The precedent on this matter has now been firmly set. Not only was Costa Rica bound by OC 24/17, but so too was Ecuador, as are all the other signatories, whether or not they have constitutional bans in place on marriage equality (like Bolivia and Paraguay), or whether they might attempt to "double-ban" it, as is contemplated in Guatemala, or as has already been done in Honduras. Likewise, it applies to those who might be "linguistically challenged," like Suriname or Haiti, where Spanish is not their language of choice, but who are, nevertheless, signatories to the accord.

    5. Courts in the remaining Latin nations can now cite 3 precedents: OC 24/17 itself, the Costa Rica court's marriage equality ruling in compliance with it, and now, the Ecuador court's marriage equality ruling, again in compliance with it, even abrogating a constitutional ban in the process.

  • 22. DevilWearsZrada  |  June 12, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    But will same-sex couples be able to marry after the ruling's publication, without changes to the Constitution and marriage laws?

  • 23. VIRick  |  June 13, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Knowing Latin America, I am speculating that the immediate short answer to your question is "No." I am saying that because no one has yet come forth with a more-specific answer. Still, I prefer to take a wait-and-see approach simply because the same answer was not immediately clear following the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, as certain procedural matters there had to be "undone" prior to implementation. Both countries have inherited the same legal system, so Ecuador's ruling should also be both immediate and nationwide. However, I can not guess as to how long it will take for certain procedural matters there to be undone. (See Marriage Equality Ruling #2, below, as it answers all the questions and settles the uncertainty).

    Still, unlike in Costa Rica, it is already clear that there is no set time-line, with no specific date established for final implementation. As such, it is not a delayed ruling. So far, the best I can find is the opinion of Gustavo Medina, the ex-president of Ecuador's Supreme Court, who stated that the ruling is binding or mandatory, and that it must be applied nationwide. The National Assembly has no choice; it must change the voided, unconstitutional marriage law. (No need. The court re-wrote it for them in the second ruling.)

    However, I am quite certain that Pamela Troya will soon have a definitive answer for all of us, direct from the Civil Registry in Quito. So too should the two couples whose cases were decided. And apparently, as of today's reports, those two specific couples, at a bare minimum, can immediately marry (once the decision has been finalized in 3 days' time, that is, after Monday, 17 June, and then published).

    This video just prepared by "La Posta Ecuador" may also help. According to it:

    Article 81 of the Civil Code, as well as Article 52 of the Law on Identity Management and Civil Data, have been declared unconstitutional, both without necessity for changing the Constitution. Thus, marriage equality is now permitted.

  • 24. VIRick  |  June 13, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Baja California Sur: Marriage Equality Vote Delayed

    Per Frank Aguirre:

    Hoy, 13 de junio 2019, quitaron de la orden del día la votación del matrimonio igualitario en el Congreso BCS.

    Today, 13 June 2019, they removed from the order of the day the vote in the BCS Congress on marriage equality.

  • 25. VIRick  |  June 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Actual Decision on Marriage Equality from Constitutional Court of Ecuador

    Per Carolina Bazante:

    Sentencía 11-18-CN/19 (matrimonio igualitario), Juez Ponente: Ramiro Avila Santamaría

    Or read it here, the full 84 pages:

    The decision can not be appealed.

  • 26. VIRick  |  June 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Some On-Line Observations Following the Marriage Equality Ruling in Ecuador

    In Ecuador itself, a swarm of haters are out in full force, cluttering up the website of "Matrimonio Igualitario" with hundreds of useless posts, ranting on and on about their God and their particular church,– and all the maricones,– and how they want a consulta (referendum).

    In the meantime, the haters in Panamá and Venezuela have become strangely quiet. I suspect that this is because they fully realize that their respective countries have inherited the same legal system as that of Colombia and Ecuador where one favorable court ruling will have immediate nationwide effect. And multiple marriage equality legal suits in both are pending.

    In Perú, the court ruling from neighboring Ecuador has received an intense amount of coverage, while the questioning as to whether Perú will be next abounds. For example, here is a positive report on the ruling from Radio Marañón in Jaén, Perú:

    In Chile and Bolivia, many commentators are also questioning as to when their respective countries will follow suit. And since Bolivia, like Ecuador, also has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, hope there has risen that there is now a fair possibility of its being overturned in court in the same manner.

  • 27. VIRick  |  June 13, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    District of Columbia: Federal Suit on Foster Parent Discrimination Moves Forward

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 12 June 2019, in "Marouf v. Azar," the federal case wherein which a same-sex couple was not permitted to apply as foster parents at a federally-funded Catholic affiliate because their family structure did not “mirror the Holy Family," a federal judge has ruled that this lawsuit can move forward. Defendants had asked to have the case dismissed, arguing that none of the plaintiffs had standing to bring the suit. Judge Mehta agreed that the National LGBT Bar Association lacks standing and dismissed them as plaintiffs from the suit, but held that the two individuals (the couple) do have standing.

    The Federal defendants also argued that the couple doesn't have a claim against them because the government agency can't be held responsible for the actions of the Catholic organization.

    Thus, from the ruling:
    "The troubling consequence of Defendants’ position, if accepted, is apparent on its face. According to the Federal Defendants, a federal agency cannot be held to account for a grantee’s known exclusion of persons from a federally-funded program on a prohibited ground. That is an astonishing outcome. Surely, the government would not take this position if, say, Plaintiffs here were excluded from fostering a child based on their gender (both are women), national origin (Marouf is the daughter of Egyptian and Turkish immigrants), or religious faith (Marouf was raised a Muslim, Esplin a Mormon). Yet, despite conceding that there is no agency policy that prevents child placement with same sex couples, the Federal Defendants in this case wish to avoid the responsibility that comes with being good stewards of federal funds. They cannot do so."

    This decision doesn't address the merits of the claims, but allows the lawsuit to move forward, giving the couple an opportunity to prove their claims. The Memorandum Opinion is here:

    Note: This couple resides in Texas, and were discriminated against by the Catholic "charity" which administers the federally-funded program in Texas which fosters refugee children. Wisely, they filed their suit in district court in the District of Columbia, the jurisdiction from which the federal funds originate.

  • 28. VIRick  |  June 13, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Puerto Rico: Ricky Martin Causes Governor to Drop Anti-LGBT "Religious Liberty" Bill

    Per NBC Latino:

    Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló backed down from a "religious liberty" bill after Ricky Martin slammed it; the bill would have exempted government workers from serving people if they believe it clashes with their religious beliefs. Here is Ricky's full statement:

    Mientras el mundo llama a la equidad, al respeto a la diversidad y a la defensa de los derechos humanos, la Cámara de Representantes y el Gobernador de Puerto Rico impulsan una medida que revierte todo lo anterior para consentir la separación, el prejuicio, el odio, y la falta de respeto a la individualidad. Lo hace bajo una premisa que tergiversa el derecho constitucional a no discriminar por raza, sexo, o creencia, y en su lugar, justificar una protección irracional a las convicciones religiosas de los empleados del Gobierno.

    De hecho, como miembro de la comunidad LGBTT, me uno al coro de voces que afirman que nunca ha habido un consenso entre nuestra gente LGBTT para validar o legalizar el discrimen en contra nuestra. El Proyecto de la Cámara 2069, radicado por petición del Gobernador Ricardo Rosselló e impulsado por la Representante Charbonier, no es otra cosa que abrirle la puerta al odio hacia todo aquel o aquella que no comparta una misma ideología, que pertenezca a la comunidad LGBTT, o que incluso no sea del mismo color de piel, entre tantas otras manifestaciones discriminatorias.

    La libertad religiosa implica respetar al otro de la misma manera que respetamos a los demás. Como defensor de los derechos humanos y miembro de la comunidad LGBTT, me opongo vehementemente al proyecto de libertad religiosa, el cual nos atrasa como sociedad y nos proyecta ante el mundo como un país retrógrado, e incapaz de guardar el derecho básico a la individualidad. Este proyecto no es representativo del Puerto Rico que todos amamos, defendemos, y al que aspiramos.

    Hacemos un llamado al Senado y al Gobernador Ricardo Rosselló para que no aprueben este proyecto que es una puerta abierta al odio y al discrimen.

    While the world calls for equity, respect for diversity and the defense of human rights, the House of Representatives and the Governor of Puerto Rico promote a measure that reverses all of the above to allow separation, prejudice, hatred, and the lack of respect for individuality. It does so under a premise that distorts the constitutional right not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or belief, and in its place, justify an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.

    In fact, as a member of the LGBTT community, I join the chorus of voices that affirm that there has never been a consensus among our LGBTT people to validate or legalize the discrimination against us. House Bill 2069, filed at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and promoted by Representative Charbonier, is nothing more than opening the door to hatred towards anyone who does not share the same ideology, who belongs to the LGBTT community, or that is not even the same skin color, among so many other discriminatory manifestations.

    Religious freedom implies respecting others in the same way that we respect others. As a defender of human rights and a member of the LGBTT community, I am vehemently opposed to the project of religious freedom, which delays us as a society and projects us to the world as a retrograde country, and incapable of keeping the basic right to individuality. This project is not representative of the Puerto Rico that we all love, defend, and to which we aspire.

    We call on the Senate and Governor Ricardo Rosselló not to approve this project, which is an open door to hatred and discrimination.

  • 29. VIRick  |  June 13, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Puerto Rico: Governor Withdraws Anti-LGBT Hate Bills

    Per Pedro Julio Serrano:

    Hoy día, el 13 de junio 2019, el gobernador Ricardo Rosselló retira los proyectos que darían libertad para discriminar.

    Today, 13 June 2019, Governor Ricardo Rosselló withdraws the bills that would give freedom to discriminate.

  • 30. VIRick  |  June 14, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Ecuador: Constitutional Court Just Issued Marriage Equality Ruling #2

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The Ecuador marriage-equality ruling #2 rewrites the Civil Code to say "Marriage is a solemn contract by which two persons join together with the end to live together and mutually help each other." This "Erga omnes" ruling means that it applies to everybody.

    Sentencía 10-18-CN/19, Juez Ponente: Alí Lozada Prado

    Per Pamela Troya:

    Con carácter erga omnes (para todas las personas), la segunda sentencia de la Corte Constitucional del Ecuador ratifica su compromiso con la justicia y la igualdad. Tenemos matrimonio igualitario en Ecuador.

    With erga omnes character (for all persons), the second decision of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador ratifies its commitment to justice and equality. We have marriage equality in Ecuador (for everyone).

    Actually, in this, its second ruling, the court has re-written Article 81 of the Civil Code, as well as Article 52 of the Law on Identity Management and Civil Data, both of which, in their original language, had been declared unconstitutional. Once both rulings have been published, marriage equality will begin nationwide in Ecuador, as they further state that there is no need to re-write the constitution. Furthermore, there is no need to wait for the National Assembly to re-write the two laws already declared unconstitutional. The court just did it for them.

  • 31. davepCA  |  June 14, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Wow, that was quick. Well done, Ecuador!

  • 32. VIRick  |  June 14, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    I noticed something quite important almost immediately. Two different justices worked simultaneously on the two different cases before the court. If you recall, these same two justices had already held public hearings on matters pertinent to the specific case before each. The two rulings for both cases actually bear the same identical date, 12 June 2019, and had to have been decided together on that date.

    The first case, and its ruling, focused on the broader issues, like the binding nature of the CIDH marriage equality ruling, and its applicability to Ecuador, as well as which Ecuadorian laws, as a direct result, must be deemed unconstitutional. That ruling was released on Wednesday, 12 June 2019:

    Sentencía 11-18-CN/19 (matrimonio igualitario), Juez Ponente: Ramiro Avila Santamaría

    The ruling released today, 14 June 2019, completes the process and covers the specifics by re-writing the two unconstitutional laws, and declaring that said rulings are immediate, nationwide, and apply to everyone. Thus, the two rulings must be taken together. This second ruling is:

    Sentencía 10-18-CN/19 (matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo), Juez Ponente: Alí Lozada Prado

    The first ruling, by itself, simply did not feel "complete," and left unanswered the critical question: "When can same-sex couples marry?"

    However, now, as a side-bonus, the sweeping nature of the two rulings, taken together, utterly doom all remaining bans on same-sex marriage in all the rest of the Latin nations which are signatories to the CIDH accord, even in those with constitutional amendments in place banning it.

  • 33. VIRick  |  June 14, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Ecuador: President of Constitutional Court Holds Press Conference

    Per Rex Wockner:

    El presidente de la Corte Constitucional, Hernán Salgado Pesantes, dijo que no es necesario una reforma a la Constitución y lo que debería hacer la Asamblea, en el menor plazo posible, es reformar las leyes secundarias, como el código civil y la ley de registro de datos. Las personas del mismo sexo que quieran contraer matrimonio deben esperar la publicación de las sentencias en el registro oficial, que ellos enviarán oportunamente.

    Dijo que los ciudadanos pueden reunir los requisitos para realizar una consulta popular en relación a la sentencia que aprobó el matrimonio igualitario en Ecuador. Los ciudadanos que deseen hacerlo deben cumplir los requisitos, afirmó este viernes, el 14 de junio 2019, durante una rueda de prensa.

    The president of the Constitutional Court, Hernán Salgado Pesantes, said that a reform to the Constitution is not necessary and what the Assembly should do, in the shortest possible time, is to reform the secondary laws, such as the civil code and the law of data registration. Same-sex couples who want to marry should wait for the publication of the rulings in the official registry, which they will soon send out.

    He said that citizens can meet the requirements to conduct a popular consultation in relation to the ruling that approved equal marriage in Ecuador. Citizens who wish to do so must comply with the requirements, he said this Friday, 14 June 2019, during a press conference.

    Note: Hernán Salgado Pesantes, although president of the court, is one of the 4 justices in the minority who voted against marriage equality. Some of what he said today at the press conference is not necessarily the last word. For example, if it satisfies him:

    1, The National Assembly can simply rubber-stamp the two laws already re-written for them by the second court ruling.

    2. The popular consulta, even if it were to happen (while simultaneously keeping the haters occupied in their fevered attempts to organize themselves to do so), can simply be ruled unconstitutional at a later date. In particular, the evangelicals view a consulta as their last hope, while pointing to recent disruptive events in Cuba (which is NOT a member of the CIDH, and thus, not under any obligations to it) for inspiration and guidance. Still, the pentecostal Iglesia de Dios will squabble and fight with los Testículos de Jehová over who is in charge. Both are already organizing separate petitions.

    Per Pamela Troya:

    Los jueces y juezas de la Corte Constitucional del Ecuador, en mayoría, determinan que no es necesaria la modificación constitucional y que el Artículo 67 debe ser interpretado en el sentido que más favorezca a la plena vigencia de los derechos.

    The judges of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, in the majority, determined that a constitutional modification is not necessary and that Article 67 must be interpreted in the sense that most favors the full validity of rights.

    Per Martina Rapido Ragozzino, abogada:

    Una consulta popular no puede revertir derechos y mucho menos desconocer derechos humanos. Los derechos humanos no se someten a consulta. Dicho pedido sería inconstitucional. Les guste o no, matrimonio igualitario en Ecuador es una realidad.

    A popular consultation can not revert rights, let alone ignore human rights. Human rights are not subject to consultation. This request would be unconstitutional. Like it or not, equal marriage in Ecuador is a reality.

  • 34. VIRick  |  June 14, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Ecuador: Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Diplomatic/Consular Agencies/Offices Worldwide

    On top of everything else, I see from page 28 of the second marriage equality ruling, the one released today, that Ecuador will be allowing same-sex couples to marry in their diplomatic and consular agencies worldwide, as long as one person in the couple is an Ecuadorian citizen.

    In this aspect, Ecuador is following Mexico's lead in not requesting authorization to perform same-sex marriages from the host country.

    Also, just to be clear (and for those keeping count on the number of Pacific island groupings with marriage equality), since the Galápagos Islands are an integral part of Ecuador, the Ecuadorian marriage equality rulings have equal validity there, as well.

  • 35. VIRick  |  June 14, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Aguascalientes: First Same-Sex Marriage without Amparo Approved

    Even though the Civil Registry gave its approval, the marriage in question, as of 14 June 2019, is presumed to still be pending, as we have no further up-date.

    Per Newsweek Mexico, dated 10 April 2019:

    Aguascalientes: Aprueban el Primer Matrimonio Igualitario sin Necesidad de Amparo

    El pasado 2 de abril 2019, una pareja de mujeres solicitó ante el Registro Civil, el permiso de contraer matrimonio, esperando una respuesta negativa y en consecuencia, ampararse legalmente, como ha ocurrido en últimos años. Sin embargo, la respuesta fue plenamente satisfactoria. Esto, debido a la resolución de la a Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (de la misma fecha) en donde se anulan los artículos 143, 144 y el 313 bis del Código Civil del Estado de Aguascalientes, que rechazan la definición de matrimonio como la unión entre un hombre y una mujer.

    El documento que les fue entregado por parte de la Directora General del Registro Civil en Aguascalientes señala que podrán llevar a cabo el matrimonio siempre y cuando cumplan con los 11 requisitos que establece el artículo 90 del Código Civil. De acuerdo con Wilfrido Salazar Rule, abogado del caso, las pláticas prematrimoniales para personas del mismo sexo han sido negadas por el DIF Estatal, institución indicada para que las parejas asistan, por lo que se pedirá la dispensa de ese punto.

    On 2 April 2019, a female couple applied to the Civil Registry for permission to marry, expecting a negative response and, consequently, legal protection, as has happened in recent years. However, the response was fully satisfactory. This was due to the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice (on the same date) whereby articles 143, 144 and 313 bis of the Civil Code of the State of Aguascalientes were revoked, rejecting the definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

    The document that was delivered to them by the General Director of the Civil Registry in Aguascalientes states that they can carry out their marriage as long as they meet the 11 requirements established by Article 90 of the Civil Code. According to Wilfrido Salazar Rule, attorney for the case, pre-marital sex talks for same-sex couples were denied by the State DIF, the institution assigned for couples to attend, so a dispensation from that point will be requested.

    Note: In addition, the Supreme Court ruling against Aguascalientes has still not yet been published in the DOF. Although the State Civil Registry is not using that fact as a reason for further delay, the State DIF might well be.

    DIF = Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (Integral Development of the Family)

  • 36. ianbirmingham  |  June 15, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Taylor Swift makes a surprise appearance at NYC's historic Stonewall Inn to mark Pride Month on the day her new pro-LGBTQ single was released

    Taylor Swift made a surprise appearance Stonewall Inn Friday as part of her continued public support of pro-LGBTQ issues during Pride Month. Hot on the heels of Thursday's debut of her new single, You Need to Calm Down, which name checks GLAAD and takes aim at anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, Swift traveled to New York City for an intimate Pride performance at the Stonewall Inn, which was the site of riots credited with launching the gay rights movement 50 years ago.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  June 15, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Taylor Swift's new Pride-themed single causes an 'influx' of GLAAD donations after she name checks the organization in the song

    Since the single's debut Thursday, the LGBTQ advocacy group said that it has been receiving a plethora of donations for $13, which it believes to be a reference to Swift's favorite number, 13.

  • 38. VIRick  |  June 15, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    LGBT Complaint from Venezuela on Lack of Progress

    Per Quiteria Franco to ILGA World:

    Por lo menos en el mapa se resalta que en Venezuela no hay matrimonio, ni unión civil, entre personas del mismo sexo; no hay reconocimiento de identidad a personas trans. No hay adopción ni protección a hijos de parejas homoparentales. Tampoco hay protección contra la discriminación; solo hay prohibición de discriminación. Son dos cosas diferentes. Tampoco hay sanción a crímenes de odio. En Venezuela aun existe penalizacion de relaciones entre personas del mismo sexo en las Fuerzas Armadas. Mira Artículo 565 del Código de Justicia Militar.

    At least on the map it is highlighted that in Venezuela there is no marriage nor civil unions for same-sex couples; there is no recognition of identity for trans individuals. There is no adoption nor protection for the children of homoparental couples. There is also no protection against discrimination; there is only a prohibition against discrimination. They are two different things. There is also no sanction for hate crimes. In Venezuela, there is still penalization of same-sex relationships in the Armed Forces. See Article 565 of the Code of Military Justice.

    In addition, the latest international estimates indicate that the number of Venezuelan refugees has now surpassed 4 million (13% of the total population of 31 million), with Colombia still absorbing the bulk of those fleeing (particularly the LGBTs), and with both Ecuador and Perú having difficulty handling the excess, as more and more people continue to flee further south. At the same time, due to runaway inflation, 3 new higher-denomination currency bills have had to be issued.

  • 39. Randolph_Finder  |  June 17, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Is the Venezuelan Supreme Court meeting normally, the way it would have a decade ago?

  • 40. ianbirmingham  |  June 16, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Pride flags fly outside Michigan state building in historic first

    Pride flags flew outside the George W. Romney building, the main office of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), for the first time in history.

    Whitmer announced the flags were installed outside the state building in Lansing over Twitter on Saturday.

    “The Romney Building in Lansing is feeling especially proud today,” she wrote in a tweet, which also featured footage of the rainbow flags being installed on the building.

    The announcement came a week after Whitmer signed a proclamation declaring June 2019 as Pride Month in the state.

    “This is an important step in ensuring LGBTQ Michiganders are treated with the respect they deserve, but there’s still more work to do,” Whitmer said in a statement at the time. “We must all press forward to ensure Michigan steps up to the forefront of advancing civil rights for LGBTQ individuals, and that includes expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

    “When we work together to ensure our state requires that everyone is treated equally under the law, we are able to recruit and retain the talent Michigan needs to thrive,” she added then. “No matter who you love or how you identify, you are welcome and wanted here.”

  • 41. VIRick  |  June 16, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Sinaloa Congress Ready to Vote on Marriage Equality This Week

    Per Federal Senator Imelda Castro‏ representing Sinaloa:

    Matrimonio igualitario: Invito con respeto a mis compañeros diputados de Morena del Congreso de Sinaloa a que se atienda el mandato de la SCJN y lo hagan posible.

    Marriage equality: I invite my fellow Morena deputies of the Sinaloa Congress to respect the mandate of the SCJN and make it possible.

    The Sinaloa Congress is apparently finally ready to vote on the pending marriage equality measure before it at some point in time during this coming week.

  • 42. VIRick  |  June 16, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Ecuador: Pamela Troya Will Be Marrying as Soon as Possible

    Per Pamela Troya to El Audiman:

    Tú vas a cantar en nuestra boda. Será en Guayaquil y la está organizando por Silvia Buendía.

    You are going to sing at our wedding. It will be in Guayaquil and is being organized by Silvia Buendía.

  • 43. VIRick  |  June 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    USA: Pete and Chasten Buttigieg Celebrate First Anniversary

    EEUU: El candidato presidencial Pete Buttigieg celebra el primer aniversario desde haberse casado con Chasten Buttigieg: "Hace un año, me casé con el amor de mi vida, Chasten. Estoy tan agradecido de haberte encontrado y no puedo esperar a pasar el resto de nuestra vida juntos."

    USA: Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg celebrates the first anniversary since he married Chasten Buttigieg: "A year ago, I married the love of my life, Chasten. I am so grateful to have met you and I can not wait to spend the rest of our lives together."

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