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News round-up 9/12

Community/Meta Discrimination

– The Arlene’s Flowers case, in which a florist doesn’t want to provide flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding, is back at the Supreme Court. The owners filed a petition to review, which the Supreme Court will consider taking up.

– New York City is repealing its ban on so-called LGBT “conversion therapy” in response to lawsuits. LGBT advocates are supporting the idea and the state ban is still in effect.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Ohio: State's Motion to Dismiss Denied in Transgender Birth Certificate Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 12 September 2019, in "Ray v. Himes," the federal suit challenging Ohio’s refusal to correct any transgender individuals gender markers on birth certificates, US District Court Judge Michael Watson denied the State's motion to dismiss the case, saying that the State has asserted no interest in the policy sufficiently compelling to overcome the Plaintiffs' fundamental right to privacy. As such, the Plaintiffs have properly alleged a claim under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the case will continue.

    The Court, in noting that Ohio and Tennessee are the last two states without a procedure in place to change one's gender marker, stated: "It is not compelling that a change to the Defendants' Policy might be challenging to implement. Forty-eight other states have figured it out."

    The Opinion and Order is here:

  • 2. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Stafford County VA: School Board Bans LGBT Discrimination

    On Tuesday, 10 September 2019, the Stafford County VA School Board voted 4-3 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s non-discrimination policy. Stafford County joins Prince William County, Manassas Park, and 11 other Virginia school districts that have adopted LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies.

    “This is the result of years of advocacy by the Stafford community, Equality Stafford, educators, students, alums, and many others,” the ACLU of Virginia said after the vote. The vote took place a month after a federal judge ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, a former Gloucester County High School student who challenged the Gloucester County School District’s policy that prohibited students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that did not correspond with their “biological gender.” The Gloucester County School Board has appealed the decision.….

    Note: Stafford County is the next county south of Prince William County, down I-95, around the city of Fredericksburg.

  • 3. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Rejection of Marriage Equality in Zacatecas Will Reach Supreme Court Next Week

    Rechazo al Matrimonio Igualitario en Zacatecas Llegará a la Suprema Corte la Próxima Semana

    Un grupo de diputados está terminando ya la "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad," que se presentará en la Suprema Corte. De acuerdo con el Artículo 105 de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, la "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" por normas generales que emitan los poderes legislativos puede ser interpuesta, entre otros promoventes, por el 33.33 por ciento de quienes integran una legislatura. En el caso de Zacatecas, deberían ser como mínimo 10 los legisladores que se sumaran a un recurso de estas características y, de acuerdo con fuentes internas de la legislatura estatal, la "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" que espera presentarse la próxima semana estaría firmada por 11 diputados.

    Asimismo, en la "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" se resaltará que el rechazo al matrimonio igualitario que se dio en Zacatecas viola cuatro derechos humanos fundamentales: el derecho a la igualdad, el derecho a la no discriminación, el derecho a la dignidad humana en la vertiente de libre desarrollo de la personalidad, y el derecho a la protección de la familia.….

    A group of deputies is already completing the "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" which will be presented to the Supreme Court. According to Article 105 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, the "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" by general standards that was issued by the legislative powers may be filed, among other advocates, by one-third of those who comprise a legislature. In the case of Zacatecas, at least 10 legislators would need to join a suit of this nature and, according to internal sources within the state legislature, the "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" expected to be presented next week would be signed by 11 deputies.

    Also, the "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" will highlight that the rejection of marriage equality that occurred in Zacatecas violates four fundamental human rights: the right to equality, the right to non-discrimination, the right to human dignity in respect to the free development of personality, and the right to family protection.

    Note: A similar "Action of Unconstitutionality" could be filed by legislators in Sinaloa where the vote was close enough, and if another close vote were to occur, might well be needed against Sonora, as well. In the meantime, outside groups are pursuing their own action against Yucatán, while Mapo independently pursues his separate "Actions of Unconstitutionality" against the states of Querétaro and Edomex.

  • 4. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Maryland: Married Same-Sex Couple File Suit Seeking Birthright Citizenship for Daughter

    On 12 September 2019, in "Kiviti v. Pompeo," a married gay couple have taken legal action against a Trump administration policy that has hindered their baby daughter’s fight for US citizenship. Roee and Adiel Kiviti, who are both US citizens, ran into trouble with the State Department after welcoming baby Kessem via a surrogate in Canada earlier this year. The couple are both listed on Kessem’s Canadian birth certificate, but the State Department treats the children of same-sex couples as “born out of wedlock,” only recognizing her link to her biological father, Adiel.

    The out-of-wedlock status has hindered the application for the birthright citizenship to which she would be entitled if her parents were recognized as a married couple. The federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the couple on 12 September 2019 states that the State Department’s “unjust policies and practices… unconstitutionally disregard the dignity and equality of the marriages of same-sex couples, and unlawfully discriminates against children simply because their married parents are a same-sex couple.”

    The Maryland District Court filing is here:

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  September 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    This should be a slam-dunk victory for the plaintiffs.

  • 6. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Villahermosa, Tabasco: Several Voices for Marriage Equality

    Per Denisse Priego:

    Matrimonio igualitario. Derechos para todos. Al Congreso de Tabasco, urge replantear estos temas.

    Marriage equality. Rights for everyone. To the Tabasco Congress, it is urgent to rethink these issues.

    Per Francisco Moguel Marin:

    Today, 11 September, marks the 9th anniversary of the presentation by Tudyssex of the first initiative in Tabasco in favor of marriage equality. In the meantime, deputies have come and gone, while this right remains unrecognized.

    Note: Recall that Denisse Priego is the same popular radio personality on XEVA who first became involved with this matter when she publicly drew attention to the plight of the elderly lesbian couple with the mobility issue who needed to travel to Chiapas in order to be able to marry.

    Francisco Moguel is a gay activist and professor at the Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco.

  • 7. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Guanajuato: PRD Deputy Requests Continuation of Reforms in Favor of Marriage Equality

    Guanajuato: Pide Diputada del PRD Continuidad a Reformas a Favor del Matrimonio Igualitario

    El 12 de septiembre 2019, en materia de diversidad sexual, la diputada por el PRD, Claudia Silva Campos, hizo un exhorto desde la Diputación Permanente del Congreso del Estado a la Comisión de Justicia, a fin de retomar el trabajo legislativo para permitir en el estado el matrimonio igualitario.

    Claudia Silva Campos puntualizó que no hay continuidad a la iniciativa que realizó su partido hace 11 meses, con la que se busca homologar la ley estatal a la ley federal, en donde ya está establecido el derecho al matrimonio igualitario.

    Regarding sexual diversity, on 12 September 2019, the PRD deputy, Claudia Silva Campos, made an appeal from the Permanent Deputation of the State Congress to the Justice Committee, with the aim of resuming legislative work to allow for marriage equality in the state.

    Claudia Silva Campos pointed out that there has been no continuation of the initiative made 11 months ago by her party, one which seeks to standardize state law with federal law, where the right to marriage equality has already been established.

  • 8. VIRick  |  September 12, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Tlaxcala: PRD Seeks Marriage Equality

    Tlaxcala: Busca PRD Matrimonio Igualitario

    Las reformas propuestas al Código Civil se han remitido a comisiones, y que a más de 10 meses, no han sido dictaminadas.

    En conferencia de prensa el 11 de septiembre 2019, la diputada estatal, Laura Yamili Flores Lozano, dio a conocer que la propuesta fue presentada desde el mes de octubre de 2018, pero se mantiene en reserva en comisiones ordinarias. Flores Lozano, informó que “hemos estado presionando, pero sigue en la congeladora, por lo que yo espero que este año podamos atender el tema.”

    The proposed reforms to the Civil Code have been referred to committees, and which for more than 10 months, have not been drafted with finality.

    In a press conference on 11 September 2019, the state deputy, Laura Yamili Flores Lozano, announced that the proposal was presented in October 2018, but is being kept in reserve in ordinary committees. Flores Lozano, reported that "we have been pressing, but the matter is still in the freezer, so I hope we can address the issue this year."

    See also:

  • 9. VIRick  |  September 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    San Diego CA: Queer Chicana Running for US Congress

    Per Rex Wockner:

    On Wednesday, 11 September 2019, San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez established a campaign committee to run for the congressional seat that represents California’s 53rd District. The seat will be open in 2020, after longtime Rep. Susan Davis (D) announced last week that she will not seek re-election for a potential 11th term.

    Even in a crowded field, Gómez would likely be considered one of the most formidable candidates. A longtime community organizer, Gómez’s profile has risen quickly since being elected to City Council in 2016 and being unanimously elected council president last December.

    Location of Mexican Consulate in Downtown San Diego

    The 209th anniversary of the Grito de Independencia (el Grito de Dolores, the shout for Mexico's independence from Spain by Padre Miguel Hidalgo, 1810, issued from the front steps of the parish church in Dolores, Guanajuato), Mexican Independence Day, will be celebrated on Sunday, 15 September 2019, and among the planned festivities in San Diego is the return of a traditional ceremony at the Mexican consulate after its discontinuation nearly 20 years ago.

    The Consul-General of Mexico in San Diego, Carlos González Gutiérrez, will symbolically shout out for Independence from the balcony of the consulate building, located on India Street in Little Italy. To facilitate festivities, the block between Beech and Cedar streets will be closed.

    Note: The city of Dolores has been re-named Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia Nacional, while its parish church has become a national historic shrine to independence.

  • 10. VIRick  |  September 13, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Sonora: Sage Advice to the Haters, Fanatics, Nut-Jobs, and Meddlers of the World

    Pasos para que no te afecte la aprobación de la ley que permite el matrimonio igualitario:
    1. Consígase una vida.
    2. Ocúpese de esa vida.
    3. Absténgase a opinar SÓLO sobre su vida.
    4. ¡Listo!

    Steps so that the approval of the law permitting marriage equality does not affect you:
    1. Find yourself a life. (Get a life.)
    2. Take care of that life. (Worry about that life.)
    3. Refrain from giving your opinion EXCEPT about your life. (Abstain from any opinion UNLESS about that life.)
    4. Ready!

    Less polite alternate translations are given in brackets. For a snottier Spanish version, switch the formal "se/su" to the familiar "te/tu." All of that is to introduce this:

    Sonora: President of Congress Declares Against Marriage Equality

    Sonora: Presidente de Congreso se Declara en Contra del Matrimonio Igualitario

    Hermosillo, Sonora – Para el presidente del Congreso, Luis Armando Colosio Muñoz (ex-Morena, expulsado), la iniciativa para permitir los matrimonios igualitarios en Sonora no es un tema prioritario por resolver. El 13 de septiembre 2019, Colosio Muñoz declaró que para él existen temas más importantes por tratar que la iniciativa sobre los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo, por lo que cuando se presente en el pleno, votará en contra.

    Hermosillo, Sonora – For the president of Congress, Luis Armando Colosio Muñoz (ex-Morena, expelled), the initiative to allow equal marriages in Sonora is not a priority issue to be resolved. On 13 September 2019, Colosio Muñoz said that for him there are more important issues to deal with than the initiative on same-sex marriages, so that when it is presented in the full congress, he will vote against it.

    In response, addressed to LGBTs, per Yumiko Palomarez Herrera (Morena)‏:

    No están solos! Si otros les abandonaron, yo reafirmo mi compromiso a la comunidad LGBTTTIQ de luchar hasta el final, y lograr que el matrimonio igualitario sea una realidad en Sonora.

    You are not alone! If others abandoned you, I reaffirm my commitment to the LGBTTTIQ community to fight until the end, and to make marriage equality a reality in Sonora.

    It should be noted that on 25 April 2019, by a unanimous vote of the all other Morena deputies in the Sonora Congress, Luis Armando Colosio Muñoz was expelled from among their ranks for his lack of discipline and for failing to follow party guidelines and regulations. He is the nephew of the dead PRI presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio, and undoubtedly was elected based on false "name recognition," much like Duncan Hunter. The sordid details are here:

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 13, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Sonora: How to Win Marriage Equality Even If We Lose the First Vote

    We can still win marriage equality in Sonora even if we lose the first vote in the 33-member congress, as long as the vote proves to be relatively close. Here's how:

    By following the same procedure already undertaken by the Zacatecas congress; that is, a minimum of one-third of the members of congress must sign a petition for an "Action of Unconstitutionality" before the Supreme Court against the majority within their own congress for having voted against the marriage equality measure, and thus, by having done so, for violating long-established jurisprudence on a settled matter. In the case of Sonora, at least 11 members of congress would be needed to vote favorably and then be willing to sign such a petition. At a minimum, these members should all be voting in favor:

    11 Morena (not even considering the expelled Colosio Muñoz)
    01 MC
    01 PT (likely)

    Although 17 votes would be needed to clinch an outright majority, assuming everyone is present and voting,12 or 13 positive votes are enough to file the petition for an "Action of Unconstitutionality," thus still allowing us to eventually win by this alternative method.

  • 12. VIRick  |  September 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Tamaulipas: PAN Refuses to Support Marriage Equality

    Tamaulipas: Rechaza PAN Apoyar Matrimonio Igualitario

    El 12 de septiembre 2019, Gerardo Peña, próximo líder de la bancada del PAN, dijo a medios locales que el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo es contrario a los preceptos de su partido.

    On 12 September 2019, Gerardo Peña, the next leader of the PAN caucus, told local media that same-sex marriage is contrary to the precepts of his party.

  • 13. VIRick  |  September 13, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Haïti: The National Dialogue on Human Rights in Haïti Has Come to a Close

    Haïti: Le Dialogue National sur les Droits Humains en Haïti Vient d’être Clôturé

    Per Yimbert Feliz Telemin:

    Diálogo Nacional LGBTI de Haití 2019, los primeros pasos del activismo LGBT del hermano país vecino de Haití donde ser LGBT es sinónimo de pena de muerte o apresamiento.

    National LGBTI Dialogue of Haïti 2019, the first steps of LGBT activism in the neighboring country of Haïti where LGBT is synonymous with the death penalty or imprisonment.

  • 14. bayareajohn  |  September 13, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Not sure what that means…. the efforts failed or what?

  • 15. VIRick  |  September 13, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Personally, I had no idea there was even going to be a national LGBT dialogue taking place in Haiti. However, whatever occurred, and whoever participated, said meeting/conference/discussion has now been completed. Hopefully, more details will be forthcoming shortly.

    Yimbert is an LGBT activist based in the Dominican Republic, and gave no indication that he had attended. He wrote both the French headline and the Spanish text. I merely translated both, and realize they do not quite say the same thing.

    The word "dialogue" in French generally refers to an organized, structured discussion on a specific topic by a group of fairly prominent individuals/personages/leaders, with or without governmental participation. In an accompanying photo, I see the following flags on display at the meeting: Haiti, the UN, Canada, the LGBT rainbow, plus one more, possibly France. Thus, I am surmising that said dialogue was co-sponsored by the UN and Canada, currently the two chief human rights protagonists in the Americas.

    Note: Recently, in Ecuador, in the immediate aftermath of the Constitutional Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage there, the same two protagonists, the UN and Canada, teamed up to assist in assuring a smooth transition, given the mindless reactive push-back emanating from the evangelical crowd. And yes, the USA has been conspicuous by its absence from said efforts.

  • 16. VIRick  |  September 14, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Coahuila: 5 Years of Marriage Equality Is Celebrated with Community Wedding

    Coahuila: Celebrarán 5 Años de Matrimonio Igualitario con Boda Comunitaria

    Como parte de los festejos del quinto aniversario de la aprobación del matrimonio igualitario en Coahuila, San Aelredo AC está en la preparación de la boda comunitaria, en conjunto con la Secretaría de Gobierno del Estado y la Dirección del Registro Civil en Coahuila, para darle legalidad a las parejas que deseen contraer matrimonio civil, y legalizar su unión ante la ley. El evento esta proyectado para los próximos 4 y 5 de octubre 2019.

    Celebrate 5 Years of Equal Marriage with Community Wedding

    As part of the celebrations for the fifth anniversary of the approval of marriage equality in Coahuila, San Aelredo AC is preparing for a community wedding, together with the Secretariat of the State Government and the Directorate of the Coahuila Civil Registry, in order to give legality to couples who wish to contract civil marriage by legalizing their union before the law. The event is planned for 4 and 5 October 2019.

  • 17. VIRick  |  September 14, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Switzerland: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    The Diocese of Basel, Switzerland’s largest Roman Catholic diocese, has announced that it will welcome the arrival of civil marriage equality in the country and will even conduct blessings for same-sex unions, as long as the rites differ from marriage ceremonies.

    In the interim, on 30 August 2019, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Swiss National Council, the lower house of the Federal Assembly — Switzerland’s national governing body — voted to advance the marriage equality legislation to the full National Council, which will likely consider it this fall.

    Note: The Diocese of Basel is the largest Roman Catholic diocese almost by default. Although most of German-speaking central and eastern Switzerland is also Roman Catholic, there are no large urban metro areas in this part of the country. Instead, it is mostly small-town and/or rural, with much smaller populations. All the other major urban centers in all 3 language areas are primarily Calvinist protestant, whether noting German-speaking Zurich, Bern, or Aargau, French-speaking Genève or Vaud, or even Italian-speaking Ticino.

  • 18. Randolph_Finder  |  September 14, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Well, it's a (tiny) start…

  • 19. VIRick  |  September 14, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    There are only 6 Catholic dioceses in all of Switzerland:

    Basel/Solothurn (German speaking) NW
    Fribourg (French speaking) W
    Sion/Valais (French speaking SW
    Lugano (Italian speaking) S
    St. Gallen (German speaking) NE
    Chur/Graubünden (German speaking) SE

    Notice that none of the largest cities in Switzerland are even named, and that even for Basel-Stadt/Basel-Landschaft, the Catholic cathedral is actually located in Solothurn, the only thoroughly Catholic German-speaking canton in the heavily-populated north-western quadrant of the country, an area with well over half the country's population (4.5 million of 8.4 million). With another 1.5 million people living in heavily protestant French-speaking western Switzerland (Genève/Vaud/Neuchâtel), one quickly begins to realize that although bunched together in distinct pockets, the Catholic population of Switzerland is a minor voice in the over-all scheme.

  • 20. Randolph_Finder  |  September 15, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Based on

    Roman Catholics make up 35.9% of the population of the country. While the percentage of RC has dropped from a high of 46.7% in 1970, that is minor compared to the drop of Swiss Reformed church which has gone from about 55% in the early part of the 20th century to less than half of that today. The SR are now a lower precentage than the "Nones".

    So a minor voice would surprise me.

  • 21. VIRick  |  September 15, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    During the cantonal consultation phase, the cantonal governments of St. Gallen, Thurgau, Schaffhausen, and Bern all gave their approval to the marriage equality legislation, while the Obwaldner Regierungsrat of Obwalden voted to oppose. Unfortunately, those are the only results for which I have information. Still, even from these fragmentary returns, it would appear that the heavily Catholic north-east is in reasonable agreement with the pending legislation.

    On the other hand, the opposition in Obwalden is a clue that the hyper-rural, predominately Catholic, low-population central/southeastern cantons may not be. If the measure were to go to a canton-by-canton referendum (a prospect they are attempting to avoid), we would need majority approval from the voters in a majority of cantons, or 14 of the cantons. I can foresee the possibility of a negative vote from as many as 10 of them; that is, from both Waldens, Uri, Schwyz, Glarus, Graubünden, both Appenzells, and possibly even Luzern and Jura. All together, these 10 only comprise 12.6% of the country's population, but it would be in this type of referendum where they would hold an out-sized voice.

    The Appenzeller Innerrhoden is not Catholic, but rather, is some hopelessly pinch-nosed "reformed" group who make the Amish look progressive, and who view the other reformed folks of the Ausserrhoden as if they were some sort of heathens simply because they have chosen to adapt.

    Randolph, the more precipitous drop in the numbers identifying as Swiss Reformed v. Roman Catholic may also be due to factors involving immigration, as large numbers of people from Portugal, Spain, and the ex-Yugoslavia have taken up residence in Switzerland in recent years.

  • 22. Phoenix_12  |  September 15, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Being Swiss, I have to correct you on a few points. Firstly, Appenzell Innerrhoden is definitely Catholic, if not the most Catholic canton in the country. Appenzell Ausserrhoden, on the other hand, is Protestant, which is why both of them split up. Secondly, a successful referendum would need the support of 12 cantons, not 14. That’s because 6 cantons are officially treated as “half-cantons”, namely both Appenzells, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Basel-Land and Basel-Stadt. However, this “double-majority”, a majority of both cantons and people, is only required for constitutional amendments. The pending legislation concerning marriage is not a constitutional amendment, and therefore only a “simple majority” (i.e. people) is required.

  • 23. VIRick  |  September 15, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Phoenix, thanks for the corrections. I knew there was antagonism between the two Appenzells; I simply picked on the wrong pinch-nosed group in trying to explain it. So, it is between a die-hard Catholic group and a neighboring, but isolated Reformed group, rather than between a hard-core Protestant group, and a less extreme, but isolated Reformed group.

    And yes, with the proposal as currently worded, they have already avoided the need for the canton-by-canton double-majority vote on a constitutional amendment. Simply put, this is not a constitutional amendment. But still, there is a continuing potential for a double-majority vote, if much later in the process, the opposition were to garner a sufficient number of signatures to force the matter, after the Federal Assembly has first given the current measure their approval. Perhaps I am jumping ahead here, too far and too fast, as both houses of the Federal Assembly must first approve, prior to any opposition signature-gathering exercise even being able to think about commencing,– assuming such would ever materialize, let alone obtain a sufficient number of valid signatures within the specified time-frame.

    And thanks for clarifying how one correctly counts the half-cantons.

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