Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

7/30 open thread


This is an open thread. We’ll post any breaking news.


  • 1. VIRick  |  July 30, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Barbados: IACHR Gives Government 3 Months to Respond to Anti-Sodomy Challenge

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    As of 26 July 2019, the IACHR (CIDH) has given the government of Barbados three months to answer the challenge to its anti-same-sex laws, specifically to answer a petition to have its laws against same-sex intimacy struck down. The challenge to the laws, filed by a transgender woman, Alexa Hoffmann, and two other Barbadians, a lesbian and a gay man, has been reviewed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the last year.

    The IACHR sent the Government a copy of the petition challenging sections 9 and 12 of the Sexual Offences Act. These sections effectively criminalize all forms of same-sex intimacy, and the Mia Mottley administration now has three months to respond to the petition.

    Section 9 outlaws “buggery,” which the courts have defined as anal sex between men, but also between a man and a woman. The maximum penalty is life in prison. Under Section 12, “serious indecency” is sweepingly defined as any act “involving the use of the genital organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.” The maximum penalty is ten years in prison if the act is committed on or towards a person aged 16 or older.

    The commission can issue a recommendation to the Government of Barbados to repeal the laws, and if the State refuses, it can refer the matter to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which can issue a binding decision mandating that Barbados repeal the laws.

    Barbados is the only Anglophone Caribbean country that recognizes the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as it is a signatory to the 1969 Inter-American Convention on Human Rights. Barbados signed the accord in 1981.

    Note: This latter statement claiming that Barbados is the sole Anglophone nation recognizing the jurisdiction of the IACHR is often repeated in the English language media. However, within the past two days, I just spent hours researching this very point relative to the new marriage equality challenge filed at the IACHR against the government of Jamaica. Like Barbados, both Grenada and Jamaica are parties to the IACHR (CIDH) accord. I could not find any specific denunciation from either nation. As already mentioned in the previous thread, all I could find was this:

    Article 62. The Commonwealth of Dominica does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Court.

    and this: Trinidad/Tobago Denunciation (withdrawal) notified 26 May 1998.

  • 2. VIRick  |  July 30, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Ex-British Caribbean: Summary of Pending Anti-Sodomy Court Challenges

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    There are now ongoing court challenges, all within the national court system except for the Barbados case before the IACHR, to the colonial-era anti-LGBT buggery/sodomy/indecency laws in all of the following Anglophone Caribbean countries:

    •Jamaica – Maurice Tomlinson's earlier suit before the Jamaica Constitutional Court.
    •Barbados – Alexa Hoffmann case pending before IACHR (see post immediately above).
    •Dominica – court challenge filed by anonymous gay man on 19 July 2019.
    •St Vincent/Grenadines – challenge to buggery/indecency laws just filed (see post below).
    •Trinidad/Tobago – government appeal of lower court decision striking down anti-sodomy laws.

    In addition, from the time the Belize anti-sodomy ban was struck down, the government of Antigua/Barbuda has acknowledged that its own anti-LGBT "buggery" law will not withstand a court challenge. However, it will not repeal it on its own.

    On the other hand, in St. Lucia, there has been ongoing talk in favor of decriminalization among both government ministers and religious leaders following the February murder of a man believed to be gay. But so far, no bill has yet been presented, nor has a court challenge yet been filed. However, one or the other, or both, are expected.

    Within the Eastern Caribbean, this leaves Antigua, Grenada, Guyana, and St. Kitts/Nevis momentarily quiescent on this matter.

    Note: The Bahamas (1991) and all 6 of the remaining British Overseas Territories (Bermuda in 1994 and the other 5 in 2001) decriminalized same-sex sexual activity years ago. And Belize did so in 2016. More recently, in 2018, so did Trinidad/Tobago, yet the government there has stubbornly appealed the ruling.

  • 3. VIRick  |  July 30, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    St. Vincent/Grenadines: Court Challenge Filed against Anti-Sodomy Laws

    Per Rex Wockner:

    On 26 July 2019, two men, Javin Johnson and Sean Macleish, have filed court proceedings challenging St Vincent/Grenadines’ “buggery” and “gross indecency” laws, which criminalize homosexuality. The men, who are being advised by Queen’s Counsel Jeremy Johnson and British-based Peter Laverack, argue that the laws strip them of their dignity and autonomy. The challenges were filed by local lawyers, Zita Barnwell and Jomo Thomas, listing the two British attorneys as the intended trial advocates.

    According to their affidavits, as a result of said colonial-era legislation, both have been exiled from the Caribbean island due to the severely draconian and damaging effects of these laws. Javin Johnson, 22, successfully claimed asylum in the United Kingdom in 2017, having established that he could not live as a gay man in St Vincent, while 53-year-old Sean Macleish, who resides in Chicago, USA, has failed in his public advocacy to convince Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves for the removal of the laws so that he may return home with his partner.

    The two claimants are unknown to each other, having separately decided that now is the time for decriminalization. They say that these laws violate multiple and overlapping rights in the Constitution, which are there to protect all Vincentians, no matter who they are or who they love.

    These court challenges come in the wake of Jason Jones’ successful challenge to Trinidad/Tobago’s anti-gay laws, a week after a similar challenge was filed in Dominica (on 19 July 2019 by an anonymous gay man), and with other challenges already afoot in Jamaica and Barbados (see post immediately above for further details regarding both).

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  July 30, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    Gay Indian couple are praised for holding a traditional Hindu wedding in a temple

    Two Indian grooms had a traditional Hindu wedding, and their pictures from the nuptials have gone viral with people loving the same-sex ceremony. 'Our parents have taught us a lot about religion and how to follow customs,' Madiraju said, adding: 'After we got married at city hall, we knew we wanted something more traditional with our families and friends involved. 'For us, it didn't seem complete until we had a chance to conduct the proper Hindu prayers.'

    For their big July 19 celebration, they chose the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in New Jersey, known for its impressive architecture and intricate marble carvings. The grooms wore sage linen kurtas from the designer Anita Dongre, with floral patterns inspired by the lush gardens of Rajasthan's palaces.

    The Hindu faith has no central authority regarding the LGBTQ community, with opinions largely varying between different temples. But according to the Human Rights Campaign, 'some Hindu communities continue to be unwelcoming of LGBTQ people, often reflecting attitudes imported from conquering nations, such as the British Empire in India.'

    'It was such a big moment in our lives, and the photos capture our feelings to perfection,' they told the publication about the viral pictures. 'It might also be because the wedding took place in a Hindu temple, and that hasn't been seen by the world with same-sex marriages.' 'We didn't realize the impact a simple wedding at a temple would have on people around the world looking for hope,' the couple wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post. 'There is no secret to acceptance, tolerance, or happiness. You just have to find the right partner to take the step with. Let the truth of your love speak for itself.'

    [Click through to the article for Photographs!]

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  July 31, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Rammstein share same-sex kiss on stage in Russia to protest homophobia

    Rammstein are showing their true colours as LGBTQ allies.

    Two members of the German heavy metal band, guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe, shared a kiss on stage during a performance in Russia’s capital city Moscow to protest the country’s anti-LGBTQ attitudes and laws.

    While homosexuality isn’t illegal in Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s ‘gay propaganda’ law has created a hostile environment for LGBTQ people. A prominent LGBTQ activist was recently murdered after her name was listed on a vile ‘gay-hunting’ website.

    Elsewhere, in self-governed Russian state Chechnya, gay people have been rounded up and held in modern-day concentration camps, with many of them tortured for information and some even beaten to death.

    Rammstein shared a photo of the kiss, which took place during their song Aüslander, on their Instagram page alongside the caption: “Russia, we love you!

  • 6. VIRick  |  July 31, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Sinaloa: Hearing against Morena Deputies Who Voted against Marriage Equality

    Los seis diputados de Morena Sinaloa tendrán una audiencia en la Comisión Nacional de Honor y Justicia del partido Morena donde tendrán que decir porqué votaron en contra del matrimonio igualitario. Tendrán 5 días a partir del día de hoy, 31 de julio 2019, para contestar la notificación (después de lo cual los 6 serán expulsados del partido por votar en contra de la política nacional de Morena).

    The six deputies of Morena Sinaloa will have a hearing at the National Commission of Honor and Justice of the Morena party in Mexico City where they will have to state why they voted against marriage equality. They will have 5 days from today, 31 July 2019, to answer the notification (after which the 6 will be expelled from the party for voting against national Morena policy.)

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Pennsylvania: Non-Binary Gender Marker Option Soon Available on Driver's Licenses

    Today, 31 July 2019, Pennsylvania became the 15th state to (officially announce that it would soon) offer a gender-neutral "X" option on state-issued driver's licenses.

    In the same breath, Washington State could be the 14th US state to add the non-binary gender option "X" to driver's licenses and other state-issued ID documents. The change would bring Washington State driver's licenses in line with birth certificates already issued in the state, which from January 2018, have allowed for the "X" option for those who do not identify as male or female.

    Washington State governor Jay Inslee said in an online statement that the rule change was “the latest step in the state’s efforts for inclusion rights. The final, big step of the process takes place in August when the DOL [Department of Licensing] holds a series of public hearings,” Inslee said, adding that the change could be implemented “as soon as October 2019."

    For clarification purposes, here is what the "Philadelphia Inquirer" had to say yesterday, 31 July 2019, at the time of the initial Pennsylvania announcement, on this same subject:

    "Pennsylvanians will soon have three options when it comes to identifying themselves on their driver’s licenses and state IDs: male, female, and 'X'. In response to a growing number of residents asking for gender-neutral ID options, and given 'national trends,'" PennDot spokesperson Erin Waters-Trasatt said Wednesday, 31 July 2019, that the agency was in the early stages of implementing a third-gender marker on Pennsylvania identification, and hopes to make the option available "by this time next year. It’s not as simple as flipping a switch to change something in a computer system,” Waters-Trasatt said. “We need to analyze this from every angle to make sure everything goes smoothly.”

    Pennsylvania residents who do not identify as male or female can currently place another character, like the letter U, in the gender field on state identification. But the characters can vary, and an official "X" option will provide a uniform gender-neutral identification, Waters-Trasatt said. Under the state vehicle code, PennDot has the authority to make the change without legislation, she said.

    Thirteen states (plus DC) currently allow individuals to identify as M, F, or X on their driver’s licenses, according to the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBTQ policy tracker. New Jersey is not among them. An "X" gender marker is consistent with the practice of the International Civil Aviation Association, an agency of the United Nations, which uses an internationally recognized passport format that allows for M, F, or X gender markers.

    Note to self: Always and forever double-check with a more-at-hand source on the accuracy of any news item before rushing to quote "Pink News."

    This 1 August article from CNN also matches with my revised and edited post regarding the two states in question, but most specifically pertaining to Pennsylvania:

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  August 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    LGBT legislators will lead Pacific Coast states

    Washington State Democrats have chosen state Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D) as the next Speaker of the state House, making the Evergreen State the third on the Pacific coast to elect an LGBT person as head of one of its legislative chambers. [Elected in 2010, Jinkins was also the first openly lesbian member of the Washington State Legislature]

    When she takes office in January, Washington will become the third mainland Pacific Coast state to be led by an LGBT legislator. Jinkins will join Oregon state Speaker Tina Kotek (D) and California Senate president Toni Atkins (D), both of whom are the first lesbians to lead their respective chambers.

    Just 147 of the 7,383 elected state legislators in the country are openly LGBT, according to the Victory Institute, a group dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elected officials. Washington has more LGBT legislators — 10 — than any other state in the country, the Victory Institute found.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 1, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    MAP List of Jurisdictions Allowing Gender "X" on State-Issued IDs/Driver's Licenses

    According to the Movement Advancement Project, the 13 states (14 jurisdictions) currently allowing gender "X" on state-issued IDs/driver's licenses are:

    Arkansas, California, Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont. To this number, we will soon be able to add both Washington State and Pennsylvania.

    The specifics concerning each and every state and US territory, relative to both gender "X," as well as to M/F or F/M gender marker change, plus what else one might need in order to be able to do so, can be found here:

    Note: On the other end of the spectrum, these 10 states (12 jurisdictions) are still medieval/draconian, requiring proof of surgery, court order, and/or amended birth certificate before allowing for a gender marker change (and without the gender "X" option) on state-issued IDs/driver's licenses:

    Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Guam, and Northern Marianas.

    These 3 states (5 jurisdictions) have no idea what they are doing, that is, there is no written policy and no explanation of requirements, if any:

    Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, American Samoa, and US Virgin Islands.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  August 2, 2019 at 1:20 am

    In the Texas CD-23, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Helotes) is retiring!!

    Hurd, the only African-American GOP House member, is a former CIA agent and represents a district stretching from El Paso to San Antonio holding the longest portion of the southern border. Hurd is a Never Trump Republican who was one of only four GOP House members to support the Dem resolution condemning Trump's Tweets against the four minority Dem congresswomen known as "The Squad".

    Gina Ortiz Jones, the Dem candidate who lost to Hurd by only about a thousand votes in the midterms, is running again. Ortiz Jones is a lesbian Filipina-American military intelligence veteran.

    Abby Livingston, The Texas Tribune: Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd to retire from Congress after holding on to a district Democrats are desperate to flip

    The past couple of weeks have presented quite a shakeup for the state's GOP House delegation. Also retiring are:

    Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland) from CD-11 is the ranking member of the Agricultural Committee. Before the midterms, he was the acting chair of the Intelligence Committee during the hearings on Russian election interference because Devin Nunes, the committee chair, was too much of an embarrassment for the House GOP after being caught on video sharing committee findings with White House officials late at night on the mansion's lawn. This district is safely GOP for the foreseeable future.

    Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) in CD-22 also isn't seeking reelection. Olson won the midterms by only about five percent against Democrat Sri Kulkarni who will run again in the greater Houston district. This district has been trending more competitive with each election that passes.

    Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Heath) in CD-4 has been tapped by Trump to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence because, as his conduct during the Mueller testimony attests, he is a Trumpist sycophant. If confirmed, a special election will be held in the district stretching from the east Dallas suburbs to Texarkana. This district is safely GOP.

    Full disclosure: I live in Hurd's district.

  • 11. JayJonson  |  August 2, 2019 at 6:17 am

    I am glad to hear that Ortiz Jones is running again. She probably would have won last time had Beto O'Rourke endorsed her. He apparently refused to endorse her because of his friendship with Hurd.

  • 12. Fortguy  |  August 2, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    It looks like Ratcliffe will be staying in Congress. Trump tweeted today that he's withdrawing Ratcliffe from consideration for DNI because the "LameStream Media" has been "very unfairly" reporting about Ratcliffe's false claims to have locked away terrorists in his previous stint as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 2, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Zacatecas: Marriage Equality Draft Bill Will Soon Be Forthcoming: Jesús Padilla

    Zacatecas: En Breve, Saldrá Dictamen de Matrimonio Igualitario: Jesús Padilla

    El diputado, Jesús Padilla Estrada, informó que en la Comisión de Régimen Interno y Concertación Política (CRIyCP) ya se tomo un acuerdo para sacar adelante los temas pendientes, incluido el del matrimonio igualitario y las reformas, para evitar los rezagos legislativos.

    “En este periodo (legislativo), máximo en 15 días, debe de salir el tema del matrimonio igualitario, se vote a favor o en contra; fue el acuerdo de la CRIyCP,” sostuvo el líder de la fracción legislativa de Morena.

    According to the deputy, Jesús Padilla Estrada, in the Internal Regime and Political Agreement Committee (CRIyCP), an agreement has already been made to move forward on the pending issues, including that of equal marriage and its reform, in order to avoid legislative lags.

    “During this (legislative) period, within 15 days, the issue of equal marriage must come up, and be voted upon, for or against; that is the agreement of the CRIyCP," said the leader of the Morena legislative caucus.

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 2, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Montenegro: Parliament Votes Down Government Bill to Allow Same-Sex Civil Unions

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Wednesday, 31 July 2019, the Montenegrin parliament failed to adopt a law to legalize same-sex unions after deputies from ruling coalition parties representing ethnic minorities voted against it. MPs from the main governing Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS; the Social Democrats; and the Liberal Party all backed the reform, but those from the Bosniak Party, BS; the Croatian Civil Initiative, HGI; and the ethnic Albanian Forca, which are part of the ruling coalition, opposed the change. Opposition MPs did not vote.

    The main opposition bloc, the Democratic Front, DF, which is close to socially conservative Russia, called on the government to withdraw the law, stating that most citizens in Montenegro were against same-sex unions. Representatives of the ruling DPS said that the law provided freedom for all citizens, because same-sex unions were a social reality.

    Human and Minority Rights Minister, Mehmed Zenka, said that the law formed part of the country’s obligations towards the EU, which the former Yugoslav republic hopes to join. Zenka, who comes from the ethnic Albanian community, said whether people agreed or disagreed with same-sex unions was a private matter. “But if we want to join the EU, then the law is one of the obligations,” he said. Montenegro first moved to legalize same sex unions in 2014 but that first attempt also failed.

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 2, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Puerto Rico: New Governor Sworn In Today, 2 August 2019, Despite More Controversy

    Per "El Nuevo Día:"

    Ricardo Rosselló Nevares salió de la gobernación y el designado Secretario de Estado, Pedro Pierluisi, juró como su sustituto, evento que, lejos de marcar el fin de la crisis política en Puerto Rico, abría la puerta a una nueva controversia de índole constitucional y avivaba las protestas que desde hace una semana iban apaciguándose.

    Las últimas declaraciones de Rosselló Nevares como gobernador ocurrieron minutos antes de que cobrara vigencia su renuncia, y las dedicó a explicar la teoría legal que justificaba que Pierluisi pudiera jurar como jefe del gobierno a pesar de que todavía no cuenta con el consejo y consentimiento del Senado (como Secretario de Estado).

    Ricardo Rosselló Nevares left the government and the Secretary of State designate, Pedro Pierluisi, was sworn in as his substitute, an event that, far from marking the end of the political crisis in Puerto Rico, opened the door to a new controversy of a constitutional nature and re-ignited the protests that had been tapering off for the past week.

    The last statements of Rosselló Nevares as governor occurred minutes before his resignation took effect, and he dedicated them to explaining the legal theory that justified how Pierluisi could be sworn in as head of the government, even though he still has not received the advice and consent of the Senate (as Secretary of State).

    At the time Rosselló announced his resignation as governor, the position of Secretary of State, first in line of succession, was vacant. This moved the selection to second in line of succession, the Secretaria de Justicia, Wanda Vázquez, who refused to accept the position of governor. Instead, she urged the resigning governor to appoint someone as Secretary of State, so as to be first in line. Thus, at the last minute, Rosselló nominated Pierluisi. However, the Senate has not confirmed that appointment, and apparently, there are not enough votes in the Senate for them to ever be able to do so. Still, shortly after 5:00 PM, today, 2 August 2019, Pierluisi was sworn in as governor, despite never having been confirmed as the new Secretary of State.

  • 16. bayareajohn  |  August 2, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Hard to understand how Trump doesn't love this guy.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 3, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    North Carolina Bans State Funding of "Conversion Therapy"

    On Friday, 2 August 2019, North Carolina became the first Southern state to ban the use of state funds for “conversion therapy” for minors. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, signed the executive order, which noted that North Carolina is home to approximately 320,000 adults who identify as LGBTQ. The order also noted that suicide rates and ideation are high among the nearly 700,000 people nationwide who have undergone conversion therapy, a widely condemned practice that attempts to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

    After he signed the executive order, Cooper shared a tweet stating, “Conversion therapy has been shown to pose serious health risks, and we should be protecting all of our children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, instead of subjecting them to a dangerous practice."

  • 18. JayJonson  |  August 3, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Does anyone know how much state funding for conversion therapy has been spent in the past? Would that be through medicaid or other programs?

  • 19. VIRick  |  August 4, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Utah Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Surrogacy for Married Same-Sex Couples

    On 2 August 2019, the Utah Supreme Court unanimously overturned a law which prevented same-sex couples from having a child through surrogacy. The case was first brought in 2017, when a judge ruled against a gay couple who were to enter into a surrogacy agreement with a straight couple.

    In their ruling, Chief Justice Matthew Durrant said that “same-sex couples must be afforded all of the benefits the State has linked to marriage and freely grants to opposite sex-couples.” He added: “A valid gestational agreement is undoubtedly a benefit linked to marriage. Obtaining a valid gestational agreement is, in many cases, one of the most important benefits afforded to couples who may not be medically capable of having a biological child. Such an agreement works to secure parental rights to an unborn child and bestows rights and benefits on the intended parents. The State has explicitly conditioned this benefit on a petitioner’s marital status; no unmarried couple may obtain one. It is therefore unquestionably linked to marriage.”

    The law which was overturned was written before the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States and said that surrogacy was only allowed when the “intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child.” It was the use of the word "mother" that the previous judge had used to rule against the gay couple.

    The Utah Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional a piece of state law barring gay couples from reaching a workable surrogacy agreement with a woman they wish to carry their child. In a written opinion released Friday, 2 August 2019, the state's high court threw out the ban, finding it denied same-sex couples the same benefit that a husband and wife have long had in Utah. The decision says in part that "same-sex couples must be afforded all of the benefits the state has linked to marriage."

  • 20. VIRick  |  August 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Colombia: National Transgender Cumbia Festival

    Per la Secretaría de Cultura de Barranquilla‏:

    ¡En Barranquilla, la fiesta es de todos! A esta hora en la Plaza de la Paz, se realiza el Festival Nacional Trans de la Cumbia, un espacio para exaltar la diversidad y la creatividad de los artistas de la comunidad LGBTI.

    In Barranquilla, the party belongs to everyone! At this hour in the Plaza de la Paz, the National Transgender Cumbia Festival is being held, a space to enhance the diversity and creativity of the artists of the LGBTI community.

    Note: As a traditional fast-paced national dance, the cumbia is to Colombia what the tango is to Argentina, the samba is to Brasil, the merengue is to the Dominican Republic, or the conga is to Cuba.

    For anyone wishing to learn to dance the cumbia, here's how:

  • 21. VIRick  |  August 4, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Another Young Bronx Progressive Launches Run for Congress

    In 2013, Ritchie Torres became New York City’s youngest elected official and the first openly LGBT person elected in the Bronx. Now he is running for Congress.

    The morning after Trump tweeted, in a clear reference to four US congresswomen of color, that they should “go back” to where they came from, Ritchie Torres, a member of the New York City Council, announced that he will run for Congress. Torres, who is gay and Afro-Latino, could relate to Trump’s targets. “The same could be said of me,” he says. “My father was born in Puerto Rico.”

    In February, after one of his colleagues on the City Council, Rubén Díaz, Sr., made a homophobic remark, Torres called for Díaz to be removed as the chair of the one committee he led. Shortly before that committee was disbanded, Torres said, “Today we will let it be known that when an elected official uses the power of his office to stoke the fires of bigotry, there will be consequences—and those consequences will be severe and swift.”

    Now Torres, who is thirty-one, is campaigning to represent the Bronx in the US House of Representatives. Several candidates have entered the race, but the toughest one for him to beat may be the same city councilman he denounced. Díaz, a seventy-six-year-old Pentecostal minister whose trademark is a cowboy hat, is very well known in the Bronx, where he has held elected office for nearly eighteen years. He also has a long record of taking anti-gay stances. In 2011, when he was in the state senate, Díaz was the only Democrat to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage.

    The Democratic primary will be held next June, but the contest is already drawing attention, particularly in the gay press. As a headline in "The Advocate" put it, “Out NYC Councilman Challenging Homophobe for Congressional Seat.”

  • 22. VIRick  |  August 4, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Uruguay: The Pre-Referendum to Repeal the Trans Law Defeated/Failed

    Uruguay: Fracasó el Pre-Referéndum para Derogar la Ley Trans

    Per Gustavo Pecoraro:

    La Corte Electoral se anunció que sobre las 18 horas el porcentaje de votos llegaba solo al 8%; el presidente del organismo confirmó que no se llegará a la cifra necesaria.

    The Electoral Court announced that at 6 PM the percentage of votes reached only 8%; the president of the body confirmed that the necessary figure will not be reached.

    Per Adriana Piriz:

    No habrá referéndum para derogar la Ley Integral para personas trans. Este domingo, el 4 de agosto 2019, votó cerca del 10% de los habilitados a sufragar, cuando se necesitaba el 25%, o casi 600.000 votos.

    There will be no referendum to repeal the Comprehensive Law for trans people. This Sunday, 4 August 2019, only about 10% of those entitled to vote did so, when 25% were needed, or almost 600,000 votes.

    Per Constanza Moreira, Senadora Uruguaya:

    La Ley Trans es un hecho. Y el pueblo dijo "No, los derechos no se quitan."

    The Trans Law is a fact. And the people said "No, rights are not removed."

    To "translate" the complex procedure utilized in Uruguay, today a pre-referendum was held to determine whether or not to hold a referendum to decide on repealing La Ley Trans. And basically put, this pre-referendum proposal was defeated by lack of participation. Based on these several accounts, only 8-10% of eligible voters turned out, when a minimum turn-out of 25% (with a majority of said voters also voting in favor of holding the repeal referendum) was needed in order for the proposal to move on to the next step.

    Note: "Fracasó (defeated/failed), as the lead word in last-minute, "headline" Spanish, has always been one of my favorite words whenever haters insist upon showing their hate, partly because "fracasó" further implies that said failure in their part was a massive and very conclusive defeat/failure. Still, to illustrate how polite South American Spanish truly is, rather than "fracasó," in Mexican Spanish, one would be far more apt to call out the haters with a hearty "chingada madre."

  • 23. VIRick  |  August 4, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Edomex Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality This Week

    Aprobarán matrimonios del mismo sexo en Edomex. Permitirá reconocerlos legalmente sin hacer ajustes para el tema de adopción.

    Same-sex marriages in Edomex will be approved. They will allow such to be legally recognized without making any adjustments for the adoption issue.

    In other words, the Edomex Congress will vote in favor of marriage equality, but without the PRD adoption measure for same-sex couples attached to it. This apparently has been a sticking point ever since PRD attempted to obtain a vote on the combined measure in March 2019, at which point the other caucuses, Morena/PRI/PAN, walked out in boycott.

  • 24. allan120102  |  August 5, 2019 at 9:27 am

    It is expected that sonora will legalize ssm but after some morena members in sinaloa broke ranks and vote against I will not hold my breath until the vote occurs.

  • 25. scream4ever  |  August 5, 2019 at 10:40 am

    11th House Republican (4th from Texas) announces they won't seek re-election:

    His district has been shifting Blue for the past few cycles, and he only won by 3 points in 2018, so this will be a likely flip for Democrats.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!