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8/5 open thread and news update


– The Senate has confirmed LGBT judicial nominee Mary Rowland to a seat in the Northern District of Illinois.

UPDATE 8/9: The district court judge hearing Gavin Grimm’s challenge to his former school board’s exclusion of transgender people from the correct restrooms has entered a final judgment in his favor.

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

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  August 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Ecuador: Lead Plaintiffs in Original Marriage Equality Suit Just Married in Quito

    Per Ecuavisa TV:

    Ahora, este 5 de agosto 2019, en el Registro Civil de San Blas en Quito, Pamela Troya y Gabriela Correa contrajeron matrimonio.

    Right now, on 5 August 2019, at the San Blas Civil Registry in Quito, Pamela Troya and Gabriela Correa were married.

    Per INREDH:

    Ximena Iglesias es la funcionaria quien casará a esta pareja, ahora la primera boda de matrimonio igualitario en Quito, que 6 años les fue violentado su derecho a un matrimonio igualitario.

    Ximena Iglesias is the official who will marry this couple, now the first equal marriage in Quito, 6 years after their right to equal marriage was violated.

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 5, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Sonora: Marriage Equality Bill Presented Today, 5 August 2019

    Per Adris, María Luisa Alatorre, y Uniradio Noticias:

    Hoy, el 5 de agosto 2019, presentarán (en el congreso estatal) la iniciativa de la diputada estatal de Morena, Yumiko Palomarez, para reformar el código de familia que permita el matrimonio igualitario en Sonora.

    Today, 5 August 2019, the initiative of the state deputy from Morena, Yumiko Palomarez, to reform the family code to allow for marriage equality in Sonora will be presented (in the state congress).

    Per Yumiko Palomarez Herrera:

    Hoy en la sala de comisiones del Congreso del Estado, presentaré la iniciativa en la que hemos estado trabajando durante algún tiempo, que consiste en reformar el código de la familia para permitir el matrimonio igualitario en Sonora.

    Today in the committee room of the State Congress, I will present the initiative upon which we have been working for some time, one which consists in reforming the family code to allow for marriage equality in Sonora.

    Per Arturo Soto Munguía‏:

    La iniciativa para el matrimonio igualitario fue turnada a comisiones. Se discutirá en el pleno el próximo periodo ordinario de sesiones (en setiembre).

    The initiative on marriage equality has been turned over to committee. It will be discussed in the full congress in the next ordinary period of sessions (in September).

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 5, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Jamaica: Major Newspaper Endorses Court Challenges against Anti-Sodomy Laws and Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 2 August 2019, the "Jamaica Gleaner," the nation's leading newspaper, endorsed both of Maurice Tomlinson's lawsuits, that is, the one previously filed within the national court system of Jamaica against the colonial-era anti-sodomy laws (laws which, as explained in the editorial, will likely be overturned in due course by the Caribbean Court of Justice based on precedent already established by court rulings against similar laws in both Belize and Trinidad/Tobago, as well as by a 2018 ruling in a case from Guyana that "saving" clauses should be restrictively applied, especially when interpreting old laws that infringe upon the guarantees in the new constitutions), as well as the very recent court challenge just filed with the IACHR (CIDH) against the Jamaican constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

    Here is the entire extended editorial:

    the final sentence of which concludes:

    In that regard, Maurice Tomlinson and Thomas Decker, and whoever else, should have the right to live in Jamaica as husband and husband, which, from our reading, is a guarantee of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, of which Jamaica is a signatory.

    Basically put, this Jamaican newspaper is admitting that as a signatory to the accord, Jamaica is subject to the binding ruling (OC-24/17) of the IACHR (CIDH) with regard to both marriage equality and gender identity (but with the latter point on gender identity not being challenged by Tomlinson's suit).

  • 4. arturo547  |  August 5, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Peru: Óscar Ugarteche case

    According to the Constitutional Court’s website, the judge in charge of the marriage equality case will be Carlos Ramos Núñez, a liberal judge! When a judge is assigned a case, that means that a ruling will very soon take place.

    Some time ago the president of the Court said that a draft ruling was ready and that the case would be resolved in March “at the latest”.

    Also, some months ago a user on Twitter said that there was a draft ruling that the judges were going to debate but it was against marriage equality. However, it is August and no ruling has been published. This can only mean one thing: that the negative draft ruling has been rejected and that Ramos Nuñez will propose a positive ruling.

    Big news from Peru might be coming very soon.

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

    First LGBT Trump Judicial Nominee Confirmed by US Senate

    On Wednesday, 31 July 2019, the US Senate confirmed lesbian judicial nominee Mary Rowland to a seat on the federal bench in Illinois, marking the first confirmation to the judiciary of an out LGBT Trump nominee. Rowland, who has ties to the LGBT group Lambda Legal, was confirmed to a seat in the US District Court of Northern Illinois by voice vote with no recorded opposition.

    Rowland’s nomination, which Trump first announced in June 2018, languished in the Senate for more than a year even though she enjoyed a breezy confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The American Bar Association rated Rowland as “well qualified” for the position.

    Although Rowland, 57, is a Trump nominee, her record contradicts the trend of his anti-LGBT appointments and includes work in LGBT advocacy. Rowland’s affiliation with LGBT legal groups includes being a member of the Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago and providing pro bono work for Lambda Legal.

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  August 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    [India] Lok Sabha passes Transgender persons protection of rights bill

    The Lok Sabha on August 5 passed a bill which provides a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 was passed by a voice vote amid noisy protests… [The Lok Sabha is the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha.]

    Minister of State for Social Justice Rattan Lal Kataria said it makes provision for establishing a national authority for safeguarding rights of transgenders. The minister said according to the 2011 census there are more than 4.80 lakh [One lakh = 100,000] transgenders in the country. He said in the bill there are provisions for penalty and punishment in cases of offences and sexual harassment against transgender persons.

    Going by the bill, a person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy. It also requires transgender persons to go through a district magistrate and district screening committee to get certified as a trans person.

    Earlier participating in the debate on the bill, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said transgenders are symbol of happiness. They visit homes of people during the time of celebrations and happiness and it is also important to save their culture and heritage. [The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) advocates social conservatism; it has historically been the party of homophobia in India]

  • 7. Mechatron12  |  August 6, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    That's good news for transgenders I suppose, but when trying to links gays and trans it's worth keeping in mind that in many parts of the world parents would much rather have a "daughter" than a gay son.

    According to Wikipedia, Iran carries out more sex change surgeries than any other country in the world save Thailand, and we all know about Iran's sterling reputation on gay rights.

  • 8. VIRick  |  August 6, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Perú: Third Favorable Same-Sex Marriage Recognition Ruling from Third Court

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The Lima Superior Court has ordered the National Registry (Reniec) to register the marriage of a Peruvian same-sex couple who married in New York in 2015. This is the third such ruling within Perú, and one which cites the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) marriage equality ruling (Opinión Consultiva OC-24/17) in arriving at its determination.

    El 6 de agosto 2019, el Poder Judicial ordena al Reniec registrar matrimonio igualitario celebrado en EE.UU. En fallo de primera instancia, el Sexto Juzgado Constitucional de la Corte Superior de Lima reconoció el matrimonio entre los peruanos de iniciales A.A.M.S. y D.A.U.F. Es la tercera sentencia de este tipo en el Perú.

    "El Comercio" solicitó la versión del Reniec para saber si apelará la sentencia. Esta entidad indicó que no se pronunciará al respecto por el momento.

    A judicial ruling of 6 August 2019 has ordered Reniec to register a same-sex marriage which took place in the USA. In a first instance ruling, the Sixth Constitutional Court of the Superior Court of Lima has recognized the marriage between Peruvians with initials of A.A.M.S. and D.A.U.F. It is the third such ruling of this type in Perú.

    "El Comercio" requested an answer from Reniec to learn if it will appeal the ruling. The entity indicated that it will not pronounce in this regard for the moment.

    Note: The cited article, in Spanish, is extremely extended, and provides a very complete, step-by-step explanation of this lawsuit and of the court's subsequent findings.

    The Ugarteche/Aroche marriage case, with the couple having married in Mexico in 2010, is the first case, with a positive ruling from the Seventh Constitutional Court of the Superior Court of Lima. The Paredes/Aljovín marriage case, with the couple having married in Miami in 2016, is the second case, with a positive ruling from the Eleventh Constitutional Court of the Superior Court of Lima.

    Per Defensoría del Pueblo del Perú (Office of the Ombudsman):

    Destacamos sentencia del Juzgado Constitucional de Lima que reconoce matrimonio entre una pareja del mismo sexo, por ser acorde con la Constitución y Tratados Internacionales ratificados por Perú. Esta decisión recoge lo publicado en nuestro informe:

    We highlight the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Lima that recognizes marriage between a same-sex couple, for its being in accord with the Constitution and International Treaties ratified by Perú. This decision includes what is published in our report (as cited above).

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 6, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Austria Eliminates Obstacles to Marriage Equality for Bi-National Couples

    Per "Dos Manzanas:"

    On 1 January 2019, when marriage equality first came into effect in Austria, the Ministry of Interior, then under a right-wing coalition, insisted that bi-national same-sex couples could only marry in Austria if the other nation already recognized marriage equality, a move that blocked LGBT migrants and others from all of Eastern Europe from marrying their Austrian partners in Austria.

    However, the right-wing coalition government fell in May 2019, after which the Austrian Parliament quickly passed a new law in June eliminating this bureaucratic restriction, with the new, non-restrictive law thus taking effect from 1 August 2019. The original lengthly article, in Spanish, explaining all of the political maneuvering, is here:

  • 10. VIRick  |  August 6, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    China: Same-Sex Couples Are Naming Their Partners as Legal Guardians

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    For gay and lesbian couples in China, being denied the right to marry is not only an indication of the country’s unwillingness to grant them the status and dignity that heterosexual couples enjoy, but it also poses real-life challenges that make the community even more vulnerable: the lack of clarity around property rights after death, and the question as to who can make medical decisions for them if they are incapacitated. "Sohu News" reports (in Chinese) that more and more same-sex couples of all age ranges in China are naming their partners as their legal guardians, a practice that is common among frail seniors in China but not among young adults.

    Lǐ Chényáng 李辰阳, an officer working at the notary office in Shanghai’s Putuo District, told "Sohu News" that he has dealt with more than a dozen guardianship cases involving same-sex couples since October 2017, when China changed its laws so that all adults of full capacity are given the liberty of appointing their own guardians by mutual agreement. Unlike China’s marriage laws, the new guardianship system does not single out gays and lesbians.

    A gay rights advocate told "Sohu News" that under the current circumstances, seeking guardianship relations are the optimal approach available within China’s legal framework if same-sex couples want to be officially recognized, with some couples even seeing it as an alternative form for obtaining a marriage license.

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 7, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Puerto Rico: Ex-Governor's Wife: One Last Petty Anti-LGBT Act on Their Way Out

    Per Pedro Julio Serrano:

    En un último acto de desquite en contra de una de las comunidades más afectadas por el infame chat de su esposo Ricardo, Beatriz y sus secuaces en La Fortaleza ordenaron vandalizar el monumento que hipócritamente había erigido para visibilizar la lucha LGBT.

    In a final act of retaliation against one of the communities most affected by the infamous chat of her husband Ricardo, Beatriz and her henchmen in La Fortaleza ordered the vandalizing of the monument that she had hypocritically erected to make visible the LGBT struggle.

    Basically put, a rainbow "gate" (El Pórtico De La Equidad) had been erected just outside the city wall of Old San Juan, near the actual gate (La Puerta de San Juan) leading through said wall to the governor's official residence at La Fortaleza. As the pair departed, on Friday, 2 August 2019, at her personal behest, the brightly-colored rainbow "gate" was re-painted white by the police.

  • 12. VIRick  |  August 7, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Puerto Rico Supreme Court: Replacement Governor's Swearing-In Unconstitutional

    Per Pedro Julio Serrano:

    Hoy día, el 7 de agosto 2019, fuentes de "El Nuevo Día" indican que la decisión del Tribunal Supremo (de Puerto Rico) habría sido unánime y es en contra de la juramentación de Pierluisi, al catalogarla de inconstitucional.

    Today, 7 August 2019, sources from "El Nuevo Día" indicate that the decision of the Supreme Court (of Puerto Rico) has been unanimous and is against the oath taken by Pierluisi, categorically calling it unconstitutional.

    And now, since published, here is the news article itself:

    Tal y como adelantó "El Nuevo Día:" El dictamen será efectivo a las 5:00 PM (hoy día), por lo que a esa hora Pierluisi debe de abandonar el cargo.

    It is just as "El Nuevo Día" has advanced: The ruling will be effective at 5:00 PM (today), so by which at that time, Pierluisi must leave office.

    In addition, the vacant governor's position must be filled by Wanda Vázquez, la secretaria de Justicia, who can, in turn, if she so chooses, nominate her own replacement (as Secretary of State or of Justice), but subject to prior Senate confirmation, after which she can then resign as governor and allow the confirmed nominee, in turn, to succeed her.

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

    Kent, Ohio, Bans "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    As of today, 7 August 2019, by a unanimous vote of the city council, the city of Kent, Ohio, has become the latest city in Ohio to protect LGBTQ youth from so-called “conversion therapy.” Other Ohio cities with similar ordinances include:

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 7, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Zacatecas: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    El 7 de agosto 2019, la CNDH y la CDHEZ entregan a LXIII Legislatura de Zacatecas consideraciones sobre matrimonio igualitario; diputados deberán contemplarlas en la elaboración de dictamen. Se espera que en los próximos días se suba al pleno el dictamen que podría modificar el Código Civil del Estado.

    On 7 August 2019, the CNDH and the CDHEZ gave the LXIII Legislature of Zacatecas their considerations on equal marriage; deputies should consider them in the preparation of their draft. It is expected that in the next few days said draft that would modify the Civil Code of the State will be brought before the full congress.

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 8, 2019 at 11:15 am

    British Caribbean Islands: Up-Date on 6 Court Challenges to Anti-Sodomy Laws/Same-Sex Marriage Bans

    Per "Washington Blade" with minor revisions and some additions:

    1. Barbados: The Alexa Hoffmann case before the IACHR (CIDH), filed on 18 June 2018:

    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.

    2. Jamaica: The Simone Edwards and Gareth Henry case before the IACHR (CIDH) accepted on 18 October 2018, seeking to strike down Jamaica's anti-sodomy laws.

    As of 29 July 2019, the IACHR (CIDH) has given the Jamaica government three months to answer the challenge to its anti-same-sex laws, the same as above.

    3. Jamaica: The Maurice Tomlinson marriage equality case before the IACHR (CIDH), filed on 17 July 2019.

    On 17 July 2019, gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson petitioned the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), requesting that it rule that Section 18 (2) of the Jamaican Constitution, which does not recognize a union between persons of the same sex, contravenes various articles of the American Convention of Human Rights ratified by Jamaica 41 years ago.

    4. Jamaica: The Maurice Tomlinson constitutional case, filed in 2015 before the Jamaica Court of Appeal, seeking to have its anti-sodomy laws struck down.

    This case has been languishing, without a timetable for when it will resume. If this case is ever ruled upon, on appeal, it would go before the UK-based Privy Council, which inevitably would strike it down with finality.

    5. Dominica: Case filed on 18 July 2019 by an anonymous gay man before the Dominica High Court, seeking to have Dominica's anti-sodomy laws struck down.

    On appeal, this matter would go before the Caribbean Court of Justice, which in 2018, has already struck down Guyana's ban on "cross-dressing." For additional precedent, the CCJ can also cite the striking-down of the Belize anti-sodomy laws in 2016. The CCJ can and will strike down Dominica's anti-sodomy laws with finality.

    6. St. Vincent/Grenadines: case filed on 26 July by Javin Johnson and Sean Macleish before the St. Vincent/Grenadines High Court, seeking to have St. Vincent/Grenadines anti-sodomy laws struck down.

    On appeal, this matter would go before the UK-based Privy Council, where it would undoubtedly be struck down with finality. In the interval, the Privy Council will have also struck down with finality the Bermuda same-sex marriage ban, the Cayman Islands same-sex marriage ban, and the Trinidad/Tobago government appeal of the 2018 striking down of that country's anti-sodomy laws.

  • 16. DevilWearsZrada  |  August 8, 2019 at 11:54 am

    So, these countries' sodomy laws are doomed. Either their national courts or IACHR/CCJ/Privy Council will strike them down.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 8, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Yes, and more will follow, as Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, Antigua/Barbuda, and St. Kitts-Nevis all have anti-sodomy laws still in place which have yet to receive a court challenge. Inevitably, all will be challenged, and all will eventually be struck down with finality by one of the courts in question. With the very recent cases filed in Dominica and St. Vincent/Grenadines, one can see that this process is well under way.

    That is one of the most striking features about British case-based law. Once precedent is set (and precedent on these matters has already been set), all similar laws will be struck down. However, they must be struck down one at a time, so we will have to endure this repetitive process multiple times.

    Although most British Caribbean islands may now be "independent," their legal system remains staunchly British, with a small number still relying upon the UK-based Privy Council as their court of final appeal. Still, the Caribbean-based CCJ, the court of final appeal for the remainder, is just as British in strictly adhering to case-based precedent.

  • 18. VIRick  |  August 8, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Additional Comment on Case #2 against Jamaica

    In all honesty, I had forgotten about the anti-sodomy case against Jamaica filed in early 2018 by Simone Edwards and Gareth Henry before the IACHR (CIDH), that is, until I read through today's "Washington Blade" article, and then did a search through my archives to match up the details.

    The new news here is that the IACHR has given the Jamaica government the same 3-months' notice to answer the charges, just as they have already done with the Barbados government, as pertaining to case #1, the one filed by Alexa Hoffmann and two others. Furthermore, since the two notices were issued just 3 days apart, one assumes that the IACHR (CIDH) intends to issue a joint ruling against both governments, but a ruling with broader language which could also be geared against Grenada and the several others still with anti-sodomy laws in place.

    Barbados, Jamaica, and Grenada are the 3 ex-British countries which have signed the accord, agreeing to abide by the decisions rendered by the IACHR (CIDH), and are its only 3 member states which still criminalize same-sex sexual activity.

    Note: A correction. Cases on final appeal from within the Jamaica court system, as well as that of St. Vincent/Grenadines, no longer go to the UK-based Privy Council, but rather, to the Caribbean Court of Justice (where the 2016 Belize ruling against that country's anti-sodomy laws is already binding precedent, as is the 13 November 2018 ruling against Guyana's ban on "cross-dressing," along with the court's narrow interpretation of "saving clauses," as expressed in the same ruling).

    Note: Another correction. According to the latest 2019 information posted on the CCJ website, it claims itself to now be the final court of appeal for all 15 Caricom nations, which include 12 ex-British colonies, 1 British Overseas Territory, plus Haiti and Suriname. The full list is:

    St. Kitts-Nevis
    St. Lucia
    St. Vincent/Grenadines

    However, in looking through the list of actual CCJ rulings, I can only find cases (on any subject matter) from Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad/Tobago, and Suriname.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  August 8, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Embarrassment for McDonald's Japan as attempt to create cute images of a boy and girl in love on transparent 'McFizz' cups are hijacked by customers who put them in much more suggestive poses

    The transparent cups with an image of a girl and boy on either side are supposed to present the McFizz drinker with a couple sitting side-by-side, kissing or whispering sweet nothings. But Japanese diners have noticed that when the angle of the cup is skewed the cute couple's positions can become far more suggestive. Twitter is awash with 'I'm lovin' it' gags.

    Images from Twitter of creatively posed McDonalds Japan drink cups:

  • 20. VIRick  |  August 9, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Chile: Court of Appeals Orders ISAPRE to Stop Considering Transsexuality as a Disease

    Per Noticias LGBT:

    Chile: Corte de Apelaciones Ordena a ISAPRE Dejar de Considerar la Transexualidad como una Enfermedad

    Note: Health care in Chile is provided by the government via Fondo Nacional de Salud (FONASA) and by private insurers via Instituciones de Salud Previsional (ISAPRE).

  • 21. allan120102  |  August 9, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Breaking El salvador supreme court has agree to rule on a case against its ssm ban. They are now three supreme courts in Central America expected to rule in the ssm issue. Those are Panama, El salvador and of course my country Honduras. Nicaragua and Guatemala are the only two pending, but in Nicaragua no case has been filed and Guatemala court is too conservative, its the most conservative in the region. CR
    supreme court already struck there ban and ssm is expect to take effect in May 2020

  • 22. VIRick  |  August 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    El Salvador Supreme Court Accepts Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuits for Consideration

    Per la Sala de lo Constitucional:

    La Sala admite a trámite demandas de inconstitucionalidad contra el Código de Familia en el tema de uniones entre personas del mismo sexo.

    The Chamber accepts the proceedings for claims of unconstitutionality against the Family Code on the issue of same-sex unions.

    The Court will decide whether or not there is a contradiction between the Family Code and the Constitution, and whether or not there has been "Inconstitucionalidad por Omisión" on the part of the Legislative Assembly for not legislating on said matter.

    The admission of the demands for resolution were unanimously signed by all five justices, and were dated 9 August 2019. The full press release from the Court is here:

    Needless to say, El Salvador is one of the many Latin nations which have signed the binding accord, per the American Convention of Human Rights, agreeing to abide by the rulings of the CIDH, including OC-24/17, the CIDH ruling on marriage equality and gender identity.

  • 23. VIRick  |  August 9, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    El Salvador: Chamber Accepts Lawsuits concerning Marriage Equality

    Per Rex Wockner:

    El Salvador: Sala Admite Demandas sobre el Matrimonio Igualitario

    La Sala de lo Constitucional informó que ha admitido dos demandas de inconstitucionalidad por omisión en contra los Artículos 11, 90, y 118 del Código de Familia que establecen que el matrimonio es entre personas de diferente sexo. La demanda con la referencia 184-2016 fue presentada por unas 26 personas, mientras que la demanda 149-2016 por 11.

    La Sala de lo Constitucional también tiene en estudio una demanda por Karla Avelar que busca declarar inconstitucional un artículo de la Ley del Nombre, para que las personas puedan cambiar su nombre de acuerdo a su identidad de género.

    The Constitutional Chamber has informed that it has accepted two claims of unconstitutionality by omission against Articles 11, 90, and 118 of the Family Code that establishes that marriage is between opposite-sex couples. The claim with reference number 184-2016 was filed by about 26 people, while the claim numbered 149-2016 was by 11.

    The Constitutional Chamber is also considering a lawsuit by Karla Avelar that seeks to declare an article of la Ley del Nombre unconstitutional so that people can change their name according to their gender identity.

  • 24. VIRick  |  August 9, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Edomex: Marriage Equality Vote Scheduled in State Congress

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    According to el Presidente de la Junta de Coordinación Política (Jucopo), Maurilio Hernández González (Morena), the State of Mexico (Edomex) congress will vote the marriage equality bill through the committees on Monday, 12 August 2019, ahead of a final vote in the full congress on Thursday, 15 August.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  August 9, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Gay man runs to be President of Tunisia – making him the first homosexual to run for office in the Middle East

    An openly gay lawyer has announced he will run for president of Tunisia – making him the first homosexual to run for office in the Middle East. Mounir Baatour's candidacy marks 'a first which will without doubt be a benchmark in history', his Liberal Party said.

    Baatour, the party's chief and a lawyer at the Court of Cassation, presents himself as a defender of LGBTIQ rights. But ahead of his announcement, a petition signed by 18 groups who campaign for those rights warned his candidacy would represent a 'danger' for their communities.

    Baatour was jailed for three months in 2013 for 'sodomy' with a 17-year-old student, which he has always denied. Having a criminal record does not automatically ban Tunisians from standing in elections.

    Baatour is co-founder of the Shams association, through which he has for years campaigned against Tunisia's criminalisation of 'sodomy' which carries a sentence of up to three years.

    Last month's petition against his potential candidacy was signed by numerous organisations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer rights. 'We think that Mr Baatour represents not only a threat but also a huge danger for our community,' the petition read.

  • 26. VIRick  |  August 9, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Virginia: After Four Years, Gavin Grimm Finally Obtains a Summary Judgment

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 9 August 2019, after a prolonged 4-year fight in "Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board," the federal sex discrimination case which went all the way up to the Supreme Court and back, and a landmark case which concerned itself with the right of a transgender student to use the boys' bathroom, Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, in summary judgment, declared that the school board’s policy violated Mr. Grimm’s rights under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 from the time it was adopted, through his graduation. She further declared that Gavin's rights were – and continue to be – violated. The school must update his official school record "to conform to the male designation on his updated birth certificate and pay for all of his attorney’s fees."

    The Order is linked here:
    The Judgment is here:
    The ACLU comment with a statement from Gavin is here:

  • 27. VIRick  |  August 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Mexican Medalist at Pan-American Games Comes out as Gay in Showy Style

    Per El Duque:

    Mexican speed-skater Jorge Luis Martínez, from Sonora, the reigning gold medalist from 2016, won the bronze medal in the 300-meters speed-skating event at the Pan-American Games Lima 2019 and came out as gay by hoisting a huge rainbow flag with his right hand and a Mexican flag in his left during the victory lap.

    The medalist is the first Mexican sports figure to disclose/discuss his sexual orientation:

    “Soy gay y estoy orgulloso de poder decirlo:” Jorge Luis Martínez, patinador de velocidad mexicano.

    "I am gay and I am proud to be able to say it:" Jorge Luis Martínez, Mexican speed-skater.

    One can view several photos and read the interview (in Spanish) here:

    Jorge Saavedra notes that Jorge Luis Martínez, the Pan-American Games medalist mentioned above, is from Sonora, and that he has come out in a big way at a very critical time, just as the Sonora state congress is about to be voting on that state's pending marriage equality legislation.

    The iconic photo with the flags is here:

  • 28. VIRick  |  August 11, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Baja California Sur: First Same-Sex Marriage Has Just Taken Place

    This Was the Historic First Gay Wedding in Comondú and BCS, 9 August 2019

    Así Fue la Histórica Primera Boda Gay en Comondú y BCS, el 9 de Agosto 2019

    Ciudad Constitución, BCS – En un hecho histórico en el municipio de Comondú, fue celebrado en esta cabecera municipal el primer matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo, entre la pareja conformada por Gerardo “Karely” Sánchez Domínguez y Luis Agundez Ruiz. Después de 10 años de vivir en unión libre, los contrayentes formalizaron la unión de sus vidas durante una ceremonia civil que fue encabezada por la Juez Licenciada Evangelina Guzmán, la cual tuvo lugar en el Salón Delfines de esta ciudad, donde se dieron cita familiares y amigos de la pareja.

    Luis Agundez, de oficio empleado municipal, y Gerardo "Karely" Sánchez, activista de las asociaciones LGTB en Comondú, decidieron unir sus vidas la noche de este viernes, 9 de agosto, luego de que el pasado 27 de junio, en medio de protestas, el Congreso del Estado de Baja California Sur aprobó con 14 votos a favor, 5 en contra, y una abstención, los matrimonios igualitarios

    Ciudad Constitución, BCS – In an historic event in the municipality of Comondú, the first marriage of a same sex couple was celebrated in this municipal seat, a pairing between Gerardo “Karely” Sánchez Domínguez and Luis Agundez Ruiz. After 10 years of living in a free union, the parties formalized their union during a civil ceremony that was headed by the Judge Evangelina Guzmán, which took place in the Dolphins Hall of this city, before a gathering of relatives and friends of the couple.

    Luis Agundez, a municipal employee official, and Gerardo "Karely" Sánchez, an activist in LGBT associations in Comondú, decided to unite their lives on Friday night, 9 August 2019, following the approval of marriage equality by the State Congress of Baja California Sur on 27 June, amid protests, with 14 votes in favor, 5 against, and one abstention.

    Note: From the wedding photos, as well as from a comment near the end of the article, Karely appears to be a transgender woman. She mentions that she is the first transsexual to marry in Comondú. Thus, it would seem that she has not yet been able to travel to one of the handful of states in Mexico where she can legally change her name and gender on her birth certificate and other government-issued documents. For her, the closest state in which she would currently be able to do so is Nayarit. (BCS may have legalized same-sex marriage, but at the same time, they have not yet re-aligned their law on gender identity.)

    This is a prime example of the resulting awkwardness one encounters when one's official ID documents do not align with one's physical appearance and gender identity. From the photos, it is fairly obvious that Karely did not need prior governmental sanction in order to obtain an overly generous boob job. However, she does need that same sanction in order to be able to officially change her name and gender.

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  August 11, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    LGBTQ history curriculum will now be taught in Illinois schools

    Equality Illinois, the state's largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, supported the bill and said the curriculum can have a "positive effect on students' self-image and make their peers more accepting." The organization said some topics that will be added to the new curriculum include the nation's first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, being formed in 1924 in Chicago, and Sally Ride, the first US woman in space, who was a lesbian.

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 11, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Panamanian/Colombian Same-Sex Couple Seeking Marriage Recognition in Panamá

    Per Juan Alonzo, the Panamanian half of this same-sex couple:

    Cuando la República de Colombia le reconoció a éste panameño, Juan Alonzo, activista comunitario, y su unión con el colombiano, Juan Parra, un activista comunitario en Panamá, como un matrimonio civil (ver foto adjunta).

    When the Republic of Colombia recognized this Panamanian, Juan Alonzo, community activist, and his union with the Colombian, Juan Parra, a community activist in Panamá, as a civil marriage (see accompanying photo).

    Today, 11 August, this couple is celebrating their second marriage anniversary. Both currently live in Panamá, but because one was still a Colombian citizen, they travelled to Colombia in 2017, and married there. They are now the fourth, and most-recent, same-sex couple to sue for marriage equality and/or marriage recognition in Panamá, having filed their suit on 27 June 2019. The accompanying photo was taken in Colombia during their marriage ceremony.

    Because Panamá was a state in Colombia for almost 400 years prior to independence, and since Colombia already has marriage equality, as does another breakaway Colombian state, Ecuador, Panamá really has no further excuse, as all three nations have the same basic laws and the same basic legal system (and are bound by the same CIDH marriage equality ruling). Thus, given the two citizenships involved, this is the perfect couple to win marriage equality in Panamá.

    As a further note, and a point I did not originally realize, one of the two same-sex couples in Ecuador who sued and won is actually an Ecuadorian/Venezuelan couple, a point which should potentially be able to flip Venezuela, if pursued. However, for the moment, they may simply be glad to be married in Ecuador.

  • 31. elly crowne  |  December 3, 2019 at 3:28 pm

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