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SCOTUS sends bakery case back to lower courts for reconsideration


The Washington Blade reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court vacated on Monday a $135,000 fine against an Oregon-based family business that refused based on religious objections to make a wedding cake in 2013 for a same-sex couple.

In an order list on Monday, the Supreme Court indicated it had issued summary disposition in response to the petition for certiorari filed by Aaron and Melissa Kline, vacating the decision against the couple and remanding it back to the Oregon Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court’s action falls short of recognizing the First Amendment right sought by the couple to refuse service to same-sex couples.

The Court granted the petition, then vacated and remanded (GVR’ed) the lower court’s decision for reconsideration in light of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. The Court took a similar action in the Arlene’s Flowers case recently. The order is without comment and doesn’t necessarily mean that the lower courts will have to rule in favor of the bakery.


  • 1. VIRick  |  June 17, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Supreme Court Does a GVR in "Klein" Case; Orders Oregon Court to Review

    The Supreme Court is vacating an Oregon court ruling against bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, while remanding for further consideration. The justices' action on Monday, 17 June 2019, keeps the high-profile case off the court's election-year calendar, while also ordering state judges to take a new look at the dispute between the lesbian couple and the owners of a now-closed bakery in the Portland area.

    The high court's brief order directs appellate judges in Oregon to consider last term's Supreme Court ruling in favor of a baker from Colorado who would not make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The court ruled that baker Jack Phillips was subjected to anti-religious bias in the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's determination that he violated state anti-discrimination law in refusing to bake the couple's wedding cake. The Oregon appellate ruling came before the Supreme Court's decision in the Phillips case.

    The larger issue weighing the rights of LGBT people against the religious objections of merchants remains unresolved.….

    Per Equality Case Files:

    This morning, 17 June 2019, the Supreme Court sent "Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries," the case in which Oregon bakers refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, back to the Court of Appeals of Oregon "for further consideration in light of 'Masterpiece Cakeshop.'" That is, the Supreme Court basically punted this issue for now – again.

    The technical procedure was to grant the petition, vacate the judgment from the Oregon court, and remand to that court for further consideration (referred to as grant/vacate/remand, or GVR). This is the same action the court took in "Arlene's Flowers" from Washington State. As we reported here, the Washington Supreme Court recently affirmed its earlier ruling in "Arlene's Flowers," saying that the florist violated state law and that the Washington court found no indication of the kind of religious animus SCOTUS had noted in "Masterpiece."

    Despite the punt, we know the issue will be back to the court sooner rather than later. ADF has already announced it will ask the Supreme Court to review the latest ruling in "Arlene's Flowers," and there are several other cases on this issue making their way through lower courts.

    Here is today's Order:….

    The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the Court of Appeals of Oregon for further consideration in light of "Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm'n," 584 U. S. ____ (2018).

  • 2. FredDorner  |  June 19, 2019 at 11:22 am

    The outcome will be the same after the OR court reviews the case for anti-religious bias. The dumb bigots will still lose.

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 17, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Hidalgo: First Same-Sex Marriage in Tulancingo

    Hidalgo: Realizan Primer Matrimonio Igualitario en Tulancingo

    Tulancingo es el primer municipio de Hidalgo donde se efectúa la formalización legal (sin amparo) de una relación entre personas del mismo sexo. A escasos días de que fueron aprobadas reformas a la Ley de la Familia en la entidad hidalguense, y por ende legalizados los matrimonios igualitarios, se llevó a cabo el primer enlace civil entre dos mujeres, presidida por el oficial del Registro del Estado Familiar de Tulancingo, Jorge Jiménez Méndez.

    La pareja contrayente es de 34 y 37 años, son originarias del estado de Puebla, quienes pasarán a la historia del estado como la primera pareja que recibe documento oficial (sin amparo) por parte de la autoridad municipal.

    Tulancingo is the first municipality in Hidalgo where the legal formalization (without amparo) of a relationship between a same-sex couple has taken place. A few days after reforms were approved to the Family Law of Hidalgo state, thereby legalizing equal marriages, the first civil liaison was held between two women, presided over by the official of the State Family Registry of Tulancingo, Jorge Jiménez Méndez.

    The contracting couple are 34 and 37 years old, are originally from the state of Puebla, and will go down in the history of the state as the first couple to receive the official document (without amparo) from the municipal authority. (Actually, they may very well be the first same-sex couple, with or without amparo, to be married in Tulancingo, the second-largest city in the state. All previous recorded instances, with amparo, either took place in Pachuca, the state capital, or were done out-of-state.)

  • 4. VIRick  |  June 17, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Venezuela: TSJ Is Apparently Holding Regular Court Sessions

    Per AC Venezuela Igualitaria:‏

    Este viernes, 28 de junio, 9 AM, acompáñanos. Plaza Bolívar de Caracas desde donde caminaremos hasta el Tribunal Suprema de Justicia (TSJ) a exigir respuestas a nuestras demandas:

    Matrimonio igualitario
    Identidad de género
    Inconstitucionalidad del Artículo 565 del COJM

    Súmate y exige junto a nosotros!

    This Friday, 28 June, 9 AM, accompany us. Plaza Bolívar in Caracas from where we will walk to the Tribunal Suprema de Justicia (TSJ) to demand answers to our requests:

    Equal marriage
    Gender identity
    Unconstitutionality of Article 565 of the COJM

    Join us (add yourself) and demand with us!

  • 5. VIRick  |  June 17, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Guatemala: First Openly Gay Deputy Elected to Congress

    Per Diversa Revista Guatemala:

    Guatemala: Primer Diputado Abiertamente Gay Es Electo al Congreso

    Felicitamos a Aldo Dávila por ser referente para la comunidad LGBT , Le deseamos todo el éxito como digno representante de las poblaciones más vulneradas.

    We congratulate Aldo Dávila for being a reference for the LGBT community. We wish him every success as a worthy representative of the most vulnerable populations.

    Per "Washington Blade:"

    An openly gay man is poised to win a seat in Guatemala’s congress. Local media reports say the preliminary results of the 16 June 2019 national elections indicate that Aldo Dávila of the Winaq Movement, a leftist party founded by Rigoberta Menchú, an indigenous human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, won enough votes to secure a seat in Congress. Dávila is the executive director of Asociación Gente Positiva, a Guatemala City-based HIV/AIDS service organization. He also attended an LGBTQ Victory Institute-backed conference that took place in Bogotá, Colombia, last month.

    José Carlos Hernández and Henry Cortez, who are also openly gay, ran for the Central American Parliament. Preliminary results indicate Hernández won a seat in this regional legislative body.

    Congresswoman Sandra Morán, a member of Convergencia, a left-leaning political movement that advocates on behalf of indigenous Guatemalans and other underrepresented groups in the country, in 2015, became the first openly LGBTI person elected to the Guatemala congress.

  • 6. VIRick  |  June 17, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Sinaloa Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality Tomorrow, 18 June

    Per Samuel del Río Félix‏:

    Amigos de Culiacán y de todo el país. Mañana, 18 de junio 2019, 9 AM, el congreso se vota por el matrimonio igualitario en Sinaloa.

    Friends of Culiacán and from all over the country. Tomorrow, 18 June 2019, 9 AM, the congress will vote for equal marriage in Sinaloa.

    Per Norali Uribe:‏

    Quienes votaron en contra del dictamen de la iniciativa del matrimonio igualitario (en comisiones unidas) en Sinaloa: Angelica Díaz (PAS), Monica López (PRI), Mariana Rojo (MORENA), Magaly Inzunza (PRI), Gloria Himelda (PRI), y Flora Miranda (MORENA). Aún pueden redimirse en el pleno.

    Those who voted against the draft of the marriage equality initiative (in the united committees) in Sinaloa: Angelica Díaz (PAS), Monica López (PRI), Mariana Rojo (MORENA), Magaly Inzunza (PRI), Gloria Himelda (PRI), and Flora Miranda (MORENA). They can still be redeemed in the full congress. (And despite these 6 negative votes, the measure passed in the united committees, and is now heading to the floor of the full 40-member congress.)

    To emphasize her point, Norali then references a news article from 2016 as a reminder that the state deputy for Morena in Campeche who voted against marriage equality there was subsequently expelled from the party.

    Even with two renegade Morena party members voting against party policy, the most-recent tally shows these 27 congress members voting in favor, with 21 votes needed to pass:

    21 Morena
    03 PT
    02 PRD
    01 PES

    These 8 are against:

    02 Morena
    03 PRI
    02 PAN
    01 Local party PAS

    These 5 are still uncertain/unknown:

    05 PRI

    Baja California Sur Congress Still Working to Finalize Marriage Equality Bill

    Per "El Independiente:"

    In the meantime, the Congress of Baja California Sur, having heard from all sectors of the community, is still working to finalize the initiative to amend the state civil code to allow for marriage equality, with deputy Rosalba Rodríguez, Morena, still definitely in charge.

    Both state congresses, of recent date, have delayed their vote on the matter.

  • 7. allan120102  |  June 18, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Same sex marriage fail to pass after 4 morena senators join ranks with pri and pan and vote to mantain the ban on ss couples to marry. What a sad day in the state.

  • 8. VIRick  |  June 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Marriage Equality Vote Fails in Sinaloa Congress

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Hoy día, el 18 de junio 2019, con 20 votos en contra y 18 a favor, la iniciativa de legalización del matrimonio igualitario no se aprobó en el Congreso del Estado de Sinaloa. Esa fue la decisión final de los diputados estatales.

    Today, 18 June 2019, with 20 votes against and 18 in favor, the initiative to legalize marriage equality was not approved in the Sinaloa State Congress. That was the final decision of the state deputies.

    This failed vote was entirely the fault of the renegade Morena members to the congress, all of whom should now be expelled from the party for refusing to uphold national policy. I am also quite surprised that the PT members voted against. The exact number who voted against are:

    08 PRI
    06 Morena
    02 PT
    02 PAN
    01 PAS
    01 Independent (was PT)

    Karla Montero, PES, the openly lesbian member who said she was voting in favor, was absent. So was Ocadio García, Morena. As a result, only these remained to vote in favor:

    16 Morena
    02 PRD

  • 9. VIRick  |  June 19, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Sinaloa CEDH to Seek "General Declaration of Unconstitutionality"

    Pese al voto en contra de 20 diputados para reformar el Código Familiar del Estado de Sinaloa y legalizar el matrimonio igualitario, existen herramientas legales para revertir la decisión. Así lo explica abogado de la CEDH Sinaloa.

    Se requieren de cinco amparos otorgados por la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación para que se declaren inconstitucionales los Artículos 40 y 165 del Código Familiar del Estado de Sinaloa.

    Sería a través de amparos otorgados por la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación con lo que se podría emitir la "Declaratoria General de Inconstitucionalidad" a dichos artículos, explicó el abogado Miguel Ángel Calderón Espinoza, quien es Visitador General de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos.

    Despite the negative vote by 20 deputies against reforming the Family Code of the State of Sinaloa to legalize equal marriage, there are legal remedies to reverse this decision. It is thus explained by a lawyer from the Sinaloa CEDH:

    Five amparos granted by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation are required to declare Articles 40 and 165 of the Family Code of the State of Sinaloa unconstitutional.

    It would be through the granting of such amparos by the Supreme Court of Justice by which the "General Declaration of Unconstitutionality" to said articles could then be issued, explained the lawyer Miguel Angel Calderón Espinoza, who is Visitador General of the State Commission for Human Rights.

    (I already thought that this had been done, despite which, the Congress of Sinaloa continued to obfuscate, and now, after more then 5 years of continuous obfuscation, has rejected the entire measure. Still, it is possible that this rejection itself, the first time the congress actually voted, is new grounds for appeal, as the same point has been raised in Yucatán for the same reason.)

    In the meantime:

    El Alcalde de Mazatlán, Químico Benítez​, se dice a favor del matrimonio igualitario, e incluso considera que los diputados de Morena que votaron ayer en contra de este en Sinaloa podrían ser desconocidos por el movimiento.

    The Mayor of Mazatlán, Químico Benítez, says he is in favor of equal marriage, and even considers that the deputies of Morena who voted yesterday against it in Sinaloa should be expelled from the (Morena) movement.

    As a side-note, I have just used the last of my free visits to "Noroeste" for the month of June.

  • 10. VIRick  |  June 19, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Zacatecas: Prospects for Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Los integrantes de las fracciones de los PRI, PT, PRD, y Morena de la LXIII Legislatura concordaron que la ley que avala los matrimonios igualitarios en Zacatecas debe aprobarse tal como dictó la SCJN, pues es su obligación como diputados.

    En cambio, la diputada del Partido Verde (PVEM), Karla Valdez Espinoza, dijo estar a favor de las uniones siempre y cuando se busque una alternativa para que no se determinen como matrimonios las uniones de parejas de la comunidad LGBTTTIQ.

    The members of the PRI, PT, PRD, and Morena caucuses of the LXIII Legislature agreed that the law that guarantees equal marriages in Zacatecas must be approved as dictated by the SCJN, because it is their obligation as deputies.

    On the other hand, the member of the Green Party (PVEM), Karla Valdez Espinoza, said she was in favor of unions as long as an alternative is sought so that the unions of couples from the LGBTTTIQ community are not described as marriages.

    If this report is accurate, the 30-member Congress of Zacatecas will likely be voting on the marriage equality measure, as follows, with these 20 members ostensibly in favor (although PRI, despite this report, can never be trusted):

    02 PT
    03 PRD
    09 Morena
    06 PRI

    These 6 are against:

    02 Verde
    04 PAN

    These 4 are uncertain/unknown:

    02 PES
    02 Nueva Alianza

  • 11. VIRick  |  June 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Sonora: Marriage Equality Time-Line

    La diputada de Morena, Yumiko Palomares Herrera, aseguró que en Sonora no ocurrirá lo que pasó ayer en el Congreso de Sinaloa, y que la reforma al Código de Familia para permitir el matrimonio igualitario será avalada con votos a favor por parte de sus compañeros.

    Señaló que la iniciativa de reforma será presentada durante (el próximo) periodo extraordinario de sesiones y que será votada en periodo ordinario, es decir, a partir del 1 de septiembre.

    The Morena deputy, Yumiko Palomares Herrera, assured that what happened yesterday in the Sinaloa Congress will not be repeated in Sonora, and that the reform of the Family Code to allow marriage equality will be guaranteed with votes in favor from her peers.

    She indicated that the reform initiative will be presented during (the next) extraordinary session and that it will be voted upon during the regular period, that is, from 1 September.

    Note: There are a total of 8 or 9 additional states in Mexico with reasonable prospects of passing marriage equality legislation before the end of 2019. In addition to Baja California Sur, Zacatecas, and Sonora, we should also pay attention to Durango, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, and Tabasco. Conceivably, there should also be another attempt to pass such a bill in Edomex.

  • 12. VIRick  |  June 19, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Romania: Seven Gay Couples Sue State at ECHR for Family Relationship Recognition

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Seven same-sex couples have sued the Romanian state at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in order to have their family relationships recognized. First, Florin Buhuceanu and Victor Ciobotaru sued the Romanian state after it had refused to recognize the family relationship between them. Six other same-sex couples then followed, as legislation concerning civil partnerships became blocked in Parliament, Accept Association, an NGO working for LGBT rights, said.

    The marriage registry authorities declined to recognize their family relationships because of current restrictions in the Civil Code regarding the legal recognition of relationships between same-sex couples. Same-sex partners can not receive any legal recognition or protection for their family, which has “serious consequences on their daily life,” Accept explained. Partners are not recognized in healthcare-related situations, and cannot stand by each other or decide for the other when needed, cannot receive their partner’s body from the morgue, or undertake the legal steps to receive a death certificate or any financial help for the burial. Furthermore, they cannot inherit from one another and cannot benefit from any co-insured status on their partner’s health insurance contract, the association said.

  • 13. VIRick  |  June 19, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Switzerland: Federal Consultations on Marriage Equality Coming to an End

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The cantonal governments of both St. Gallen and Schaffhausen have expressed their support for marriage equality, as the federal consultations on the pending equal marriage bill come to an end this week.

    Note: In the snail-paced race between Switzerland and Chile, Switzerland has now pulled slightly ahead.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  June 20, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Elizabeth Warren's New Bill Would Unlock Million$ In Tax Refunds Denied To Gay Couples

    “The federal government forced legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts to file as individuals and pay more in taxes for almost a decade,” Warren said in a statement. “We need to call out that discrimination and to make it right — Congress should pass the Refund Equality Act immediately.”

    Last week, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., introduced a companion bill in the House called the PRIDE Act of 2019. In an interview with NBC News, Chu said she thinks her bill might pick up some Republican support, particularly because several GOP representatives voted for the Equality Act, a bill passed by the House that would modify existing civil rights legislation to add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the list of protected classes, along with race, religion, color, sex, etc.

    On Thursday afternoon, after Chu spoke to NBC News, the PRIDE Act of 2019 was passed unanimously by voice vote in the House Ways and Means Committee.

  • 15. VIRick  |  June 20, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    New York: 6th State to Bar "Gay/Transgender Panic" Defenses for Murder

    On Wednesday, 19 June 2019, New York legislators passed a ban barring the use of “gay panic” and “transgender panic” defenses in murder cases within the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill. With this move, New York will join just five other states that already bar the defenses: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Nevada.

    The bill was introduced by state assembly member Daniel J. O’Donnell and state senator Brad Hoylman, both of whom are gay. “I’m glad that New York is sending a message to prosecutors, to defense attorneys, juries and judges that a victim’s LGBTQ identity can’t be weaponized.” said Hoylman to the "New York Times."

    The use of the “gay panic” defense entered public consciousness with the Matthew Shepherd murde in Wyoming, where his killers claimed that Shepherd had “come onto” one of the duo. Similarly, the “transgender panic” defense gained prominence in the way of the 2004 murder of Gwen Araujo in Newark, California. The latter case led to California’s ban of the defense. In Wyoming, nothing whatsoever has been done.

  • 16. VIRick  |  June 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Canada Totally Decriminalizes All Aspects of Gay Sex

    Per Rob Salerno:

    Today, 20 June 2019, the Canadian Senate passed the bill, C-75, that finally fully decriminalizes all aspects of gay sex. It now awaits the Royal Assent, likely to be given tomorrow.

    Per Senate of Canada:

    (Today), the Senate has adopted a motion in response to the message from the House of Commons on Government bill C-75.

  • 17. VIRick  |  June 20, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Alabama: Roy Moore Announces His US Senate Candidacy

    Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, said Thursday, 20 June 2019, that he will run again for a US Senate seat from Alabama. The former Alabama Supreme Court justice announced the decision in his home state after opening with a prayer, an introduction from his wife, Kayla Moore, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

    “Yes, I will run for the United States Senate in 2020,” Moore said. Moore spoke to the “barrage of information” surrounding his potential run and called out Republicans opposing his candidacy, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby.

    “Why is there such a fear? Why is there such anger? Why such a hatred and opposition to someone running? Why does the mere mention of my name cause people to get up in arms in Washington DC?” Moore asked, listing off a litany of conservative positions he holds, including supporting the Second Amendment and opposing abortion rights.

    Moore will face several Republicans in a crowded primary, including US Rep. Bradley Byrne and state Rep. Arnold Mooney. Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville will also throw his hat in the race, and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has said he is “seriously considering” a run. The Republican candidates may also have to contend with Sessions, who held the seat for two decades.

    Moore’s failed candidacy in 2017 continued to draw headlines well after the end of the race when he tried to block certification by filing a lawsuit claiming election fraud. Moore also sued one of his alleged sexual misconduct victims.

  • 18. davepCA  |  June 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    “Why is there such a fear? Why is there such anger? Why such a hatred and opposition to someone running? Why does the mere mention of my name cause people to get up in arms in Washington DC?”

    Oh I dunno, maybe because of him having a history of being removed from office for defying a court order to remove the ten commandments from the court room, and then later being suspended AGAIN for failing to comply with a Supreme Court order to recognize same sex civil marriages.
    Or his history of being blacklisted from entering a local shopping mall because of his repeated stalker behavior toward under-age girls.
    Or his IRS scandal involving his undisclosed six-figure income from his 'non-profit' group.
    Or his direct involvement with racist neo-confederacy groups.
    Or his denial of, and complete ignorance of, basic concepts of evolution.
    Or when he abused his position to gain the release of his drug addict son who had been arrested repeatedly on multiple serious charges.
    Or maybe something else. There is certainly plenty from which to choose.

  • 19. VIRick  |  June 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Morena Begins Process of Expelling Those Who Voted against Marriage Equality

    La CNHJ Morena ha acordado abrir un proceso de oficio en contra de los congresistas Flora Isela Miranda, Mariana de Jesús Rojo, Apolinar García, Jesús Palestino, Rosa Inés López, y Fernando Mascareño, Diputados de Morena en Sinaloa por voto en contra del matrimonio igualitario.

    The CNHJ Morena has agreed to open an ex officio proceeding against Congress members Flora Isela Miranda, Mariana de Jesus Rojo, Apolinar García, Jesús Palestino, Rosa Inés López, and Fernando Mascareño, Morena deputies in Sinaloa who voted against equal marriage.

    Also, the openly lesbian, conservative PES deputy, Karla Montero, who claimed beforehand that she intended to vote in favor of marriage equality, but who was absent from congress the day of the vote and has now conveniently returned, has been told by LGBT activists: "¡Ya siéntate, nadie votó por ti tampoco!" ("Now sit down, no one voted for you, either!"), a semi-mild Mexican way, in the rude, familiar form, of bluntly telling someone to STFU.

    Note: "Noroeste" has now blocked the story, but not the headline.

  • 20. VIRick  |  June 20, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Morena's Next Big Problem: Veracruz

    Per Manuel Garcia Estrada:

    José Manuel Pozos Castro, Morena, Presidente de la mesa directiva del congreso de Veracruz, está en contra del matrimonio igualitario.

    José Manuel Pozos Castro, Morena, president of the executive committee of the Veracruz congress, is against equal marriage.

    He is an old-guard ex-priista, who just switched in 2018. He represents the Tuxpan district and has been in politics now (as a priista) for over 30 years, since well before the early 1990s, and has had a long history of requesting (and obtaining) sexual favors from numerous women seeking employment. This 2018 article provides some detail about his various and sundry “cariñosos," while also noting his being a Morena candidate to represent Tuxpan in the Veracruz legislature.

    However, this news article, dated 5 November 2018, concerning his swearing in to lead the LXV legislature during its first year, states that he is PT.

    And yet, this article, dated 8 November 2018, just 3 days later, states that he switched from PT to Morena after the election in order to be in charge of the majority. It further states that at the time of the election, Morena had 19 seats in the 50-member chamber, while its coalition partners, PES and PT, each had five, bringing the total to 29. It further notes that the president of the legislature must be from the party holding the most seats, and thus must be selected from the ranks of the Morena deputies.

    Either way, he will still be in charge until 2020 unless Morena expels him from their ranks. To add to his sliminess, there is even more regarding his penchant for nepotism. He also sat idly by while the now ex-governor of Veracruz and his wife systematically pillaged the Veracruz state treasury and absconded to Guatemala with most of the loot.

  • 21. VIRick  |  June 21, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Chiapas: Complete Tally to Date on Same-Sex Marriages

    Per "Diario de Chiapas:"

    Según datos del Registro Civil estatal, que de 2015 a mayo de 2019, se han celebrado en total 64 matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo, 40 parejas de mujeres y 24 de hombres.

    “Los municipios en donde se han llevado a cabo son: Cintalapa, Chiapa de Corzo, Frontera Hidalgo, Huixtla, Las Rosas, Mapastepec, Ocozocoautla, Palenque, Reforma, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Tapachula, Tonalá, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Venustiano Carranza, Villa Comaltitlán, Villa Corzo, y Villaflores,” informó.

    According to data from the State Civil Registry, from 2015 to May 2019, a total of 64 marriages between people of the same sex occurred, 40 female couples and 24 male.

    "The municipalities where they have taken place are: Cintalapa, Chiapa de Corzo, Frontera Hidalgo, Huixtla, Las Rosas, Mapastepec, Ocozocoautla, Palenque, Reforma, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Tapachula, Tonalá, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Venustiano Carranza, Villa Comaltitlán, Villa Corzo, and Villaflores," he informed.

    Note: This count of 64 does not distinguish between the earlier marriages performed after the granting of an amparo and the more-recent ones performed without amparo. However, during the earlier period, I only recall two municipalities where federal judges had granted amparos: The state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and the highland city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Thus, all the marriages between same-sex couples performed in the other 15 municipalities listed occurred after the Supreme Court ruling against the ban on same-sex marriage. Both Frontera Hidalgo and Tapachula directly abut the border with Guatemala, while Palenque and Reforma abut Tabasco.

    On the other hand, and quite in contrast, this report from a year ago and dated 12 June 2018, from the LGBT rights group, UDAC, claims that more than 300 same-sex couples were married in Chiapas without amparo between December 2017 (shortly after the State Civil Registry authorized it statewide) and May 2018 (when the Supreme Court ruling was finally published in the DOF). It also claims that most took place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Tapachula, and Comitán (this latter was not cited in the first listing). It further states that a certain portion of said marriages in Chiapas were due to same-sex couples traveling there from the neighboring states of Tabasco, Veracruz, and Oaxaca, none of which, at the time, allowed same-sex couples to marry without amparo.

  • 22. VIRick  |  June 21, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Ecuador: President Moreno Respects CC Decision on Marriage Equality

    Ecuador: El Presidente Moreno Respeta Decisión de la CC sobre Matrimonio Igualitario

    El presidente de la República, Lenín Moreno, expresó, a través de una cadena nacional emitida la noche del jueves 20 de junio de 2019, su respeto a la decisión tomada por la Corte Constitucional el pasado 12 de junio de aprobar el matrimonio civil igualitario en el país, al resolver dos casos de consulta de norma presentada por la Corte Provincial de Pichincha.

    El jefe de Estado sostuvo que "nuestro deber, como ciudadanos, y el mío mismo, como Presidente, es respetar las decisiones de todas las funciones y órganos del Estado." Por ello, resaltó que, más allá de las críticas y opinión personal respecto al casamiento entre personas del mismo sexo, "mantengo mi respeto absoluto a lo actuado por la Corte Constitucional, que está compuesta por jueces serios y honestos."

    The President of the Republic, Lenín Moreno, in a national broadcast aired on Thursday night, 20 June 2019, expressed his respect for the decision taken by the Constitutional Court on 12 June to approve equal civil marriage in the country, when resolving two cases of consultation of standards presented by the Provincial Court of Pichincha.

    The head of state maintained that "our duty, as citizens, and my own, as President, is to respect the decisions of all the functions and organs of the State." Therefore, he stressed that, beyond criticism and personal opinion regarding marriage between people of the same sex, "I maintain my absolute respect for what has been done by the Constitutional Court, which is composed of serious and honest judges."

  • 23. VIRick  |  June 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Switzerland: Federal Consultation on Marriage Equality Completed

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The federal consultation on marriage equality was completed today, 21 June 2019, as the cantonal governments of both Thurgau and Bern expressed support for equal marriage. The report from Bern is here:

    The one from Thurgau is here:

    When finally completed, the complex measures include the whole package: marriage equality, legalization of adoption for same-sex couples, and legalization of in-vitro fertilization for same-sex couples. They have been very thorough in their studiousness.

  • 24. VIRick  |  June 22, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Texas: A Border Love and a Same-Sex Marriage in the Time of Trump and LGBT Pride

    Texas: Un Amor de Frontera en los Tiempos de Trump y del Orgullo LGBTI

    Eliut García y Omar Villafuerte se casaron el 6 de junio 2019 en el Puente Internacional Reynosa–Hidalgo/McAllen. García y Villafuerte encontraron un espacio para unirse en ese lugar donde se encuentran dos países empeñados en separarse, y sin proponérselo, su boda se convirtió en una postal donde podía leerse el pasado y el presente de la vida en la frontera; la pérdida y la conquista de derechos y libertades marcados por los límites geográficos. Cuando se construyó en 1926, el puente internacional entre Reynosa (Tamaulipas) e Hidalgo (Texas) era una obra para unir dos comunidades separadas por el Río Bravo.

    García, un especialista en cobranzas médicas de 38 años, es ciudadano estadounidense. Villafuerte, diseñador gráfico y dueño de una barbería, está por cumplir 40, es mexicano, y no tiene visa para cruzar a Estados Unidos. La ceremonia se celebró el 6 de junio a las 6 de la tarde en el puente internacional Reynosa–Hidalgo/McAllen, un puente que cruzan legalmente a diario más de 6000 personas rumbo a Estados Unidos.

    La ministra Yadira Richards, quien esa tarde cruzó la frontera desde Estados Unidos para oficiar la unión civil entre García y Villafuerte, describe un casamiento en el puente internacional – uno de los servicios que ella ofrece – como una “ceremonia legal, simple y bonita.” Richards cuenta que en los últimos siete años, ha casado a unas treinta parejas en los puentes internacionales, y ha casado al menos a una decena de parejas del mismo sexo. Pero esta era la primera boda entre personas del mismo sexo que oficiaba en un puente.

    Las uniones en los puertos fronterizos representan un modesto pero dinámico segmento, impulsado más por la necesidad que por el capricho de originalidad. Para García y Villafuerte, casarse en Reynosa, donde ambos viven, no era una alternativa. “Quería que mi matrimonio fuera legal”, dice García por teléfono. “Nuestra relación no es algo común para la sociedad,” añade, refiriéndose a Reynosa.

    El estado de Tamaulipas no reconoce el matrimonio igualitario, a pesar de que la Suprema Corte de México ha declarado que el código civil estatal es inconstitucional porque excluye a las parejas del mismo sexo. Pero el estado de Texas, del otro lado del río, lo legalizó a partir del 26 de junio de 2015. Como muchos jóvenes de la frontera, Eliut García vive en México pero nació en Texas y es ciudadano estadounidense. De lunes a viernes, desde hace más de diez años, cruza el puente hacia McAllen para ir a su trabajo como administrador en una red de clínicas.
    (to continue in English)

  • 25. VIRick  |  June 22, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    (continued from above)
    Eliut García and Omar Villafuerte were married on 6 June 2019 at the mid-point of the Reynosa-Hidalgo/McAllen International Bridge. García and Villafuerte found a space to unite in a place where two countries are bent on separating and, without intending it, their wedding became a snapshot onto which one could read the past and present of life on the border; the loss and conquest of rights and freedoms marked by geographical limits. When it was built in 1926, the international bridge between Reynosa (Tamaulipas) and Hidalgo (Texas) was a work uniting two communities separated by the Rio Grande.

    García, a 38-year-old medical billing specialist, is a US citizen. Villafuerte, graphic designer and owner of a barbershop, is about to turn 40, is Mexican, and does not have a visa to cross into the United States. The ceremony was held on 6 June at 6 PM on the Reynosa-Hidalgo/McAllen International Bridge, a bridge over which more than 6000 people legally cross daily into the United States.

    Minister Yadira Richards, who crossed the border that afternoon from the United States to officiate the civil marriage between García and Villafuerte, describes a marriage on the international bridge – one of the services she offers – as a "simple, beautiful, and legal ceremony." Richards said that in the last seven years, she has married about thirty couples on international bridges, and has married at least a dozen same-sex couples. But for her, this was the first marriage of a same-sex couple that she officiated on a bridge.

    The marriages on the border represent a modest but dynamic segment, driven more by necessity than by any attempt at originality. For García and Villafuerte, getting married in Reynosa, where they both live, was not an alternative. "I wanted my marriage to be legal," García said over the phone. He added, "Our relationship is not common for society," referring to Reynosa.

    The state of Tamaulipas does not recognize equal marriage, even though the Mexican Supreme Court has declared that the state civil code is unconstitutional because it excludes same-sex couples. But the state of Texas, on the other side of the river, legalized it as of 26 June 2015. Like many young people from the border, Eliut García lives in Mexico but was born in Texas and is a US citizen. From Monday to Friday, for the past ten years, he crosses the bridge to McAllen to go to his job as administrator for a network of clinics.

    And technically, this is a Texas marriage, recorded in Texas. From accompanying photos of the actual ceremony, one can see that Yadira, the presiding US minister, and Eliut, the US citizen of the couple, both stood on the US side of the center-stripe in the covered pedestrian walkway, while Omar, the Mexican citizen, stood on the Mexican side of the marker, each with their respective witnesses behind them. At the same moment, to add to the poignancy, a bus-load of migrants being deported walked by, heading toward Mexico.

  • 26. allan120102  |  June 22, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    It looks like Switzerland might win against Chile to get ssm. I predict a positive vote in 2020.

  • 27. VIRick  |  June 22, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Chile: House Committee Ready to Vote on Marriage Equality

    Per Matías Walker Prieto, House Member representing Coquimbo:‏

    En el día del Orgullo 2019, reitero mi compromiso de seguir legislando por reconocer los distintos tipos de familias en Chile. Estamos listos en la Comisión de Constitución de la Camara de Diputados para aprobar el matrimonio igualitario; tenemos los votos.

    On Pride Day 2019, I reiterate my commitment to continue legislating to recognize the different types of families in Chile. In the Committee on the Constitution of the Chamber of Deputies, we are ready to approve marriage equality; we have the votes.

    So, here comes Chile! The marriage equality measure has been on-hold in the Chilean Senate since September 2017.

    Meanwhile, Switzerland still has all these additional steps to complete, yet may still win:

    La Commission du National chargée de ce dossier va maintenant reprendre ses discussions à la fin du mois d'août pour clarifier certains points, comme les assurances sociales et la rente de veuve. Ce sera ensuite aux Chambres Fédérales de se prononcer sur le texte, à commencer par le Conseil National, normalement cet hiver. Il est ensuite probable qu'un référendum soit lancé et que le peuple se prononce.

    The National Commission in charge of this complex measure will now resume its discussions at the end of August to clarify certain points, such as social insurance and widow's pensions. Sometime this winter, it will then be up to the Federal Chambers to vote favorably on the text, starting with the National Council. It is then likely that a referendum will be held and the people will vote.

    Assuming a referendum is deemed necessary, and assuming a majority of voters were to vote favorably in a majority of the 23 cantons, then marriage equality and all of its numerous attendant side-issues, will finally become a reality throughout Switzerland. However, from other earlier reports, I had understood that the cantonal consultations, just completed, had been determined to be an adequate substitute for a national referendum. The National Commission wants to avoid the possibility of a negative referendum vote from a fair number of low-population, hide-bound, rural cantons like the Appenzells, the Waldens, Schwyz, Glarus, Uri, and Jura, even Graubünden and Luzern.

  • 28. VIRick  |  June 23, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Taiwan: Statistical Recap for the First Month of Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Since 24 May 2019, when Taiwan became the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, a total of 1,173 same-sex couples have registered their marriages, while two have gotten divorced, government statistics released on 23 June showed. On the day the bill took effect, 526 couples registered their marriages. One month after the Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 (司法院釋字第748號解釋施行法) went into effect, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed that among the 1,173 same-sex marriages registered so far, 790 have been between women and 383 between men.

    The records also show that 28 transnational marriages were registered, all of which were between a Taiwanese and a foreign national (whose home country also recognizes same-sex marriage). None of the couples have so far filed to adopt their partner’s biological children.

    Under the act, which was passed on 17 May and took effect on 24 May, two people aged 18 or older of the same sex are allowed to register for marriage. They are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples in the areas of inheritance and medical power of attorney. One partner may adopt the biological children of the other, but cannot adopt non-biological children who had previously been adopted by one of the two.

    Most of the same-sex couples involved live in New Taipei City (242), followed by Taipei (198), Kaohsiung (159), Taichung (141) and Taoyuan (123), the data showed. Five of the nation’s 22 cities and counties have recorded fewer than 10 same-sex marriages each, while none have yet been registered in Lienchiang County.

  • 29. VIRick  |  June 23, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Sinaloa: How the Marriage Equality Vote Was Lost (For the Moment)

    Contradicción: estos diputados firmaron a favor de matrimonio igualitario… ¡y la votaron en contra! Algo sucedió en el camino, para que diputados de Morena y PT cambiaran de opinión a la hora de emitir su voto.

    Contradiction: these deputies signed on in favor of equal marriage … and then voted against it! Something happened along the way, so that deputies from Morena and PT changed their minds when they cast their vote.

    Beforehand, there were 22 of 40 who had signed on in favor, which would have given the measure a majority vote, which is why they even went ahead with it in the first instance. After signing, the following 3 then switched their votes, and voted against, while Karla Montero, PES, another signer, was absent on the actual day of the voting:

    Rosa Inés López Castro, Morena
    Mariana de Jesús Rojo Sánchez, Morena
    Mario Rafael González Sánchez, PT

    So, instead of there being 22 in favor, and 17 against, as originally counted, there were only 18 in favor with 20 against on the day they actually voted. The 40th member has been out and is still out due to illness.

    The additional 4 renegade Morena deputies, and the other PT member, all ostensibly in the coalition, never even signed the written pledge and then also voted against.

  • 30. allan120102  |  June 24, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    With Kansas agreeing to issue correct papers to transgender people that leaves TN and OH as the final two. I would had expect AL or MIssissippi but oh well.

  • 31. allan120102  |  June 24, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Ibaraki has become the first prefecture to allow civil partnerships for ss couples.

  • 32. VIRick  |  June 24, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Japan: First Prefecture to Recognize Same-Sex Civil Partnerships

    Although the countrywide legalization of same-sex marriage remains a far-off reality in Japan, local governments are taking the lead in working toward greater equality for LGBT people, despite the lack of action at the national level.

    Today, 24 June 2019, marked a new milestone in the progress of LGBT rights in Japan, as Ibaraki prefecture said that next month it will start issuing partnership certificates for gay and transgender couples, the first prefectural-level government in Japan to do so. It follows similar moves by 22 municipal governments, so far, beginning with the wards of Shibuya and Setagaya in Tokyo in 2015. In 2019 alone, 13 additional municipal governments have adopted the policy, including most recently, Kanuma city in Tochigi prefecture and Miyazaki city in the prefecture of the same name on Kyushu. Others will officially implement the policy in the coming weeks, including the city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka prefecture.

    Ibaraki was also the second prefecture, after Tokyo, to pass an ordinance to ban discrimination against sexual minorities when it did so earlier this year.

    A same-sex partnership does not give couples the same rights as married couples, but it does allow partners to make medical decisions for a significant other and to live together in public housing.

    Aya Kamikawa, a transgender assembly member for Tokyo’s Setagaya ward, tweeted that the move by Ibaraki was significant based on population size. Until now, the biggest area by population to issue same-sex partnership certificates was Osaka city, which has 2.7 million inhabitants; Ibaraki has almost 3 million, she said.

    Note: Ibaraki prefecture is north of Tokyo and Chiba prefectures. In Tokyo prefecture, the sub-divisions are called wards, whereas in other parts of Japan, they are called cities/municipalities.

  • 33. VIRick  |  June 24, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Switzerland: Canton Obwalden Opposes Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In the recently-concluded national consultation, der Obwaldner Regierungsrat of the half-canton of Obwalden opposed the marriage equality proposal, the first cantonal-level government to do so for which information has become available.

    Note: Switzerland has 23 full cantons, with 3 of them split into half-cantons. The half-cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden together form the full canton of Unterwalden.

    Obwalden and Nidwalden are in the very center of Switzerland, and comprise one of the three original cantons which united to eventually form what has become Switzerland. Both are hyper-rural, low-population, and ridiculously catholic. Obwalden boasts of having the only pilgrimage shrine in the entire country (at Engelberg). Nidwalden has a population of only 40,00, while Obwalden is even less at 37,000.

    Appenzell is equally extreme, or moreso. There, the half-canton of Appenzeller Ausserrhoden has a population of just 55,000, while that of Appenzeller Innerrhoden has but 16,000. No information on the consultation results are yet available from either, but do not expect favorable results. In particular, the Innerrhoden is the epitome of 18th or 19th century story-book-land, where women were only (grudgingly) granted the right to vote in 1990, years after the rest of the confederation, after two women won a federal lawsuit, forcing the men-only local government to extend that right.

    Other potential "problem" cantons are Uri (36,000), Glarus (40,000), Jura (73,000), and perhaps Schwyz (155,000) and Graubünden (198,000), all hyper-rural and hyper-catholic.

  • 34. scream4ever  |  June 24, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    And if even one canton doesn't agree, they a people's referendum could be called correct?

  • 35. VIRick  |  June 24, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Scream, I did not take the time to fight my way through the entire German text of the "Luzerner Zeitung" to learn what the next step would be if any cantonal-level government opposed the federal marriage equality proposal. I was lucky to understand the headline:

    Ehe für alle: Obwaldner Regierung lehnt Initiative ab (Marriage for all: Obwalden government rejects initiative)

    On second look, wait! Further along, it says:

    Regierung wünscht Volksabstimmung (Government wants referendum)

    The article did not discuss the situation in any other canton other than Obwalden, not even that of Luzern. Still, "wanting" something does not necessarily guarantee "obtaining" it.

  • 36. VIRick  |  June 24, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Kansas: Transgender Individuals Now Able to Correct Gender Marker

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 June 2019, in "Foster v. Andersen," the federal suit challenging the Kansas policy of prohibiting the correction of the sex designation on birth certificates, Lambda Legal and state officials agreed to a consent judgment:

    "Transgender people born in Kansas will now be able to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates under the consent judgment between Lambda Legal and state officials issued on Friday evening, 21 June 2019, by the federal court."

    “This is a tremendous victory for all transgender people born in Kansas. By acknowledging that its policy prohibiting transgender Kansans from correcting the sex designation on their birth certificates was discriminatory and unconstitutional, the State of Kansas has done the right thing and has taken a huge step forward,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal. “This court-issued judgment builds not only on our recent court victories striking down similar policies prohibiting transgender people born in Idaho and Puerto Rico from having accurate birth certificates, but also upon years of advocacy by transgender Kansans. With this judgment, Kansas will now finally be in line with the rest of the country, where already 47 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico have acknowledged the importance of individuals having access to essential identity documents that accurately reflect who they are.”

    “After courts in Idaho and Puerto Rico found these categorical exclusions violate equal protection under the law and the right to privacy, Kansas’s position was untenable. We look forward to the last two states with these archaic policies, Ohio and Tennessee, to follow suit,” said Kara Ingelhart, Staff attorney at Lambda Legal.

    The Consent Judgment is here:

  • 37. VIRick  |  June 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Connecticut Bans "Gay Panic" and "Transgender Panic" Defenses

    On Friday, 21 June 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the bill banning "gay panic" and "transgender panic" defenses in court. “It’s absurd that perpetrators have used victims’ sexual orientation/gender identity to justify their violent crimes. All lives are valued equally,” Lamont said.

    A similar bill has already been passed in Hawaii, and is awaiting the governor’s signature, as is a second similar measure in New York.

  • 38. VIRick  |  June 24, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Dominica: Sodomy Law to Be Challenged in Court

    A gay man in Dominica plans to challenge his country’s sodomy law. Dominica is among the many Caribbean countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized. It is a former British colony located in the Lesser Antilles between Guadeloupe and Martinique, two French Overseas Departments which have never criminalized same-sex sexual activity and which already have marriage equality.

    On Monday, 24 June 2019, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, a Toronto-based advocacy group, announced that the man will file the lawsuit in Dominica’s High Court of Justice in the coming weeks. A press release says the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program is among the other organizations that are supporting the plaintiff who has asked to remain anonymous. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network notes the gay man plans to challenge two provisions of Dominica’s Sexual Offenses Act that criminalize anal sex and “gross indecency” with up to 10 years and 12 years in prison, respectively.

    “The claimant at the center of this case is a gay man who could face more than a decade in prison for private sexual intercourse with consenting adult same-sex partners,” reads the group’s press release. “Already, he has experienced homophobic hostility, discrimination, harassment, and physical and sexual assaults fueled by these hateful laws.” The press release specifically notes police “refused to investigate” an attack against the gay man that took place in his home and “allowed his attacker to remain free.”

    In 2018, the Trinidad and Tobago High Court found the country’s sodomy law unconstitutional. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has backed lawsuits against similar statutes in both Jamaica and Barbados.

    Darryl Philip, founder of Minority Rights Dominica, an LGBTI advocacy group in Dominica, in the press release said the experiences of the gay man who plans to challenge the island’s sodomy law “are sadly not unique, and are instead a daily reality of many LGBT people in Dominica and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Because the law criminalizes all LGBT people, it sends a powerful message that other people — whether law enforcement or regular citizens on the street — are entitled to discriminate and commit human rights abuses against LGBT individuals,” added Philip.

    Maurice Tomlinson, a senior policy analyst at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, added the law also has an adverse impact on efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Dominica. “Dominica is in the midst of an ongoing HIV crisis,” said Tomlinson in the press release. “A man seeking HIV testing or visiting the doctor for a check-up who indicates he is sexually active with a male partner is actually confessing to a crime. This reality poses significant barriers to effective HIV and AIDS health programs. Changing these laws is both a human rights and public health imperative,” added Tomlinson.

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