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10/15 open thread


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

UPDATE: – A federal judge in Texas has vacated a health care rule protecting people who are transgender. The case can be appealed to the Fifth Circuit.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  October 15, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Scotland: Convicted Gay/Bi Men to Be Pardoned

    Gay and bisexual men in Scotland wrongfully convicted under discriminatory anti-gay laws will now receive an automatic pardon. The formal pardons will be issued as part of the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Act, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2018.

    Sex in private between two men aged over 21 was legalized in Scotland in 1981, but the “offences” of gross indecency and buggery were not deleted from the statutes until 2004 and convictions were retained on official records. This meant the men had to carry the stigma of a criminal conviction which showed up on criminal record checks, in some cases affecting employability. As of today, 15 October 2019, Scottish men with such convictions can now apply to have them removed from central criminal records under a ‘disregards’ scheme.

    First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon issued an official apology for this in 2017, saying: “Today, categorically and wholeheartedly, as first minister I apologise for those laws, and for the hurt and the harm that they caused.….

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 15, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Durango: Marriage Equality Prospects

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    David Ramos (PRD), the sponsor of the marriage equality legislation in the Durango Congress, states that he believes he has a sufficient number of votes in the 25-member body to assure its passage, and that the congress should be voting in favor of it next month. According to his count, he has these 15 votes, which constitute the majority:

    10 Morena
    04 PT
    01 PRD

    By default, these remaining members would either vote against, abstain, or be absent:
    05 PRI
    04 PAN
    01 Verde

    Per Diversidad Sexual PRD:

    En los próximos días, la Comisión de Derechos Humanos (del Congreso de Durango) votará propuesta del PRD.

    In the next few days, the Human Rights Committee (of the Durango Congress) will vote on the PRD proposal.

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 15, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Another Idiot Ruling from Reed O'Connor in Texas Regarding the ACA

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 15 October 2019, in "Franciscan Alliance v. Azar," the federal case wherein which certain retrograde states and several religiously-affiliated health care providers have been challenging anti-discrimination provisions in the Affordable Care Act, Judge Reed O'Connor has issued a final judgment, determining that the non-discrimination rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (RFRA). Rather than issue a nationwide permanent injunction, he instead "VACATES and REMANDS the Rule for further consideration."

    Though the ruling is somewhat confusing, appearing to vacate the entire non-discrimination rule, it seems to be vacating only the "the Rule’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender identity or termination of pregnancy."

    At footnote 7 of the opinion, he writes, "As the Court noted in its December 31, 2016 Order [granting a preliminary injunction], 'the Rule includes a severability provision,' which allowed the Court to enjoin only the challenged provisions. … Now, the Court VACATES only the portions of the Rule that are unlawful under the APA and RFRA."

    This is the same judge who previously struck down the entire ACA as unconstitutional. That ruling is on appeal at the 5th Circuit.

    • The Memorandum Opinion and Order is here:

    • The Final Judgment is here:

  • 4. guitaristbl  |  October 16, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    He seems to be the go to judge for conservatives to get exactly what they want, when they want it and how they want it. One has to wonder why he hasnt been nominated for SCOTUS yet. He obviously has the qualifications in these times…

  • 5. VIRick  |  October 16, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Marriage Equality to Be Tackled in the Querétaro Congress

    Abordarán Matrimonio Igualitario en Congreso de Querétaro

    La Presidenta de la Mesa Directiva de la Legislatura Estatal, Verónica Hernández Flores, confirmó que el tema de matrimonios igualitarios está contemplado en los trabajos de análisis y discusión para el semestre octubre-abril. En un encuentro con medios de comunicación, la diputada estatal por el PAN señaló que incluso ya se llevaron a cabo dos de cinco mesas de diálogo y discusión con activistas.

    Cabe recordar que Hernández Flores asumió ese cargo por seis meses, a partir del 4 de octubre, por lo que garantizó apertura total al tema durante este periodo de tiempo.

    The President of the Board of the State Legislature, Verónica Hernández Flores, confirmed that the issue of marriage equality is contemplated for analysis and discussion during the October-April semester. In a meeting with the media, the state deputy for PAN said that two of five round-tables for dialogue and discussion with activists have already been held.

    It should be remembered that Hernández Flores assumed her position for six months, beginning from 4 October, by which she has guaranteed total openness to the subject during this period of time.

  • 6. VIRick  |  October 16, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Panamá: Constitutional Proposal for Same-Sex Union Recognition

    Per Freddy Pitti, Consejero de la Concertación Nacional y Comisión Nacional de Reformas Electorales:

    Les comparto este documento que he preparado, el cual contiene un resumen sobre la reforma constitucional.

    I share this document that I have prepared, which contains a summary of the constitutional reform.

    In his proposal, Freddy Pitti offers changes to Articles 1, 35, 56, and 58, plus one new article. In the first two, he proposes to add wording to clarify that Panama is a secular state. As for marriage, Article 56 will state that the law will determine it relative to the secular state. Currently, the constitution of Panamá does not discuss or define marriage, but Family Law does. As for de facto marriage, Article 58 will state that a de facto union between two adults with the legal capacity for marriage, after 5 consecutive years of partnership, will have the same effect as marriage.

    The new article is an equality and non-discrimination guarantee, and includes sexual orientation (but not gender identity) among the several covered categories, alongside race, sex, national origin, and religion.

    Unfortunately, I can not do a copy-and-paste from the format being displayed, but the full Spanish text is here:

    Reading between the lines, marriage is still not defined in man-woman terms, but Family Law, with its narrow definition, would appear to still be in force. However, de facto unions between two adults would allow for legal recognition of same-sex partnerships after 5 years. The wording is quite similar to that in force in Costa Rica (legal recognition after 3 years) and to what had been the law in Ecuador (legal recognition after 2 years) prior to marriage equality.

    Still, I suspect that this proposal will be regarded as far too little, way too late.

  • 7. guitaristbl  |  October 16, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    The Panamese Supreme Court should have issued a decision years ago. I think they may expect for the legislature to save them and then they case is redundant and hoorayyy the responsibility is out of our hands lol.

  • 8. VIRick  |  October 16, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    The Panamanian Supreme Court still needs to rule, striking down the man-woman definition of marriage as found in the Panamanian Family Law. This proposed constitutional change, cited above, does nothing to alter that definition. Instead, it appears to substitute the recognition of de facto unions after 5 years as being equivalent to marriage. In this regard, both Costa Rica's 3-year wait and Ecuador's 2-year wait had pending court challenges, claiming, in both instances, that their respective, extended time-frames were excessive. Both of those matters have now been resolved by the introduction of marriage equality. Panamá needs to do the same.

    There are at least 4 pending marriage equality lawsuits in Panamá:
    1. A married British-Panamanian couple seeking marriage recognition in Panamá of their British marriage.
    2. A gay Panamanian seeking the right to marry in Panamá.
    3. A female Panamanian couple seeking the right to marry in Panamá.
    4. A married Colombian-Panamanian couple seeking marriage recognition in Panamá of their Colombian marriage.

  • 9. VIRick  |  October 17, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Panamá: Caucuses Agree to Submit Changes to the Constitutional Reform Package

    Panamá: Bancadas Acuerdan Presentar Cambios al Paquete de Reformas Constitucionales

    Las bancadas legislativas del Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD), de Cambio Democrático, del Movimiento Liberal Republicano Nacionalista, del Partido Panameñista, y los de libre postulación lograron consenso en varias propuestas de modificación al proyecto de Acto Constitucional que desde esta semana discute la Asamblea Nacional. Por ejemplo, a la propuesta de que solamente haya matrimonio entre hombre y mujer, se eliminó la palabra "solamente."

    Los primeras propuestas de cambios a la Constitución llegaron de mano de la Comisión de Gobierno de la Asamblea Nacional, que dirige el perredista, Leandro Ávila. Para el debate del primer bloque, que aborda desde el Título I al IV, hay al menos 30 cambios.

    The legislative caucuses of the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD), of Cambio Democrático, of the Movimiento Liberal Republicano Nacionalista, of the Partido Panameñista, and those that are independent reached consensus on several proposals for modification to the draft Constitutional Act which is being discussed this week in the National Assembly. For example, to the proposal that there be only marriage between man and woman, the word "only" was deleted.

    The first proposals for changes to the Constitution came from the Committee on Government of the National Assembly, led by the PRD member, Leandro Ávila. From the debate of the first block, which addresses Title I through IV, there are at least 30 changes.

    Note: PRD Panamá is a slightly milder version of the leftist reform party, PRD Mexico. PRD Mexico has been vociferous in advocating in favor of marriage equality. PRD Panamá will push for it, as well, but less stridently. However, at the moment, the Panamanian version has a much higher proportion of deputies in their National Assembly, and a far wider voter appeal (mainly because they do not have an upstart Morena party competing with it).

    Still, Gabriel Silva, an independent deputy representing a portion of the capital, is currently the strongest voice in favor of marriage equality.

  • 10. VIRick  |  October 17, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Rep. Elijah Cummings Has Died

    Early Thursday morning, 17 October 2019, Rep. Elijah Cummings, one of Congress's most powerful Democrats, and a staunch LGBT ally, died at age 68. The House Oversight and Reform Committee chair from Maryland clashed repeatedly with Trump over the latter's idiocracy and mindless tweeting.

    The Baltimore congressman died at around 2:45 a.m. at Johns Hopkins Hospital "due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges," his staff said in a statement. On Wednesday, the "Baltimore Sun" newspaper reported that Cummings still had not returned to work weeks after an unspecified medical procedure.

    After news broke of his death, Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags at the US Capitol to be flown at half-staff. “The people of Baltimore, the US Congress, and America have lost a voice of unsurpassed moral clarity and truth: our beloved Chairman Elijah Cummings," wrote Pelosi in a statement, describing him as the Democrats' "North Star" in the House. "I am personally devastated by his passing," she said.

    In a statement, former president Barack Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, were heartbroken by Cummings' death. "As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he showed us all not only the importance of checks and balances within our democracy, but also the necessity of good people stewarding it," Obama said.

    As chair of the Oversight Committee, Cummings was a central figure in the impeachment investigation of the Trump administration. He and other key House Democrats had called the president's conversation with Ukraine's leader, now a central focus of the impeachment inquiry, an “unambiguous, damning, and shocking abuse of the Office of the Presidency.”

    Along with the House Intelligence and House Foreign Affairs committees, Cummings and House Oversight Democrats have been directing the early stages of the impeachment inquiry, subpoenaing witnesses in recent weeks from the top levels of the executive branch and Trump's inner circle to testify and turn over documents.

    In July, in apparent reaction, Trump went on a dayslong rant against the city of Baltimore, which many perceived as racist, claiming that Cummings had failed the city and left it as "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

    Cummings' parents were sharecroppers turned preachers from South Carolina who moved to Baltimore, where Cummings was born. Cummings graduated from Howard University in 1973, where he served as the student body president. He earned his law degree from the University of Maryland and practiced law for 20 years. In 1983, he entered the Maryland House of Delegates, becoming the youngest chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. He won his seat in Congress in 1996, and chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 2003 to 2004. Cummings has three children from previous relationships. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, whom he married in 2008, is now the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  October 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Thailand: Team of NGOs and lawyers to ask Constitutional Court to rule on marriage law

    A team of lawyers from NSP Legal Office, together with the Foundation for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights and Justice (For-SOGI), is preparing to file a request with the Constitutional Court of Thailand to rule whether Article 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code, the law which governs marriage, is in contradiction to Section 27 of the 2017 Constitution.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  October 17, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    NH Log Cabin Republicans giving candidates ‘clean slates’ moving forward

    New Hampshire Log Cabin Republicans are willing to give elected officials and candidates who have voted against or taken past positions opposed to their point of view another chance moving forward, the group’s chair says.

    A case in point is the Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsement this week of former state Rep. Victoria Sullivan for mayor of Manchester. Sullivan’s critics have been pointing out on social media that she voted against legislation that prohibited conversation therapy to attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation. The bill passed and became law last year.

    She also opposed legislation prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity – a “transgender rights” bill — also signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu last year.

    [Yet NH LCR Chair Jim] Morgan [also] said that as Republicans, the Log Cabin group will not support “every single bill” that Democrats may back.

    He noted that state Rep. Joe Alexander of Goffstown, an openly gay Republican, in September spoke on the House floor against overriding Sununu’s veto of legislation that would have made it easier for transgender men and women and those who don’t identify as either male or female to change their name and gender information on their birth certificates.

    “We don’t think we should be changing birth certificates,” Morgan said.

    “The underlying issue with the conversion therapy was telling parents what they could or could not do,” Morgan said. He said that philosophy is not specific to LGBT issues.

    “It’s about government getting involved in people’s lives.”

    The endorsement was criticized by New Hampshire Democratic Party [Chair] Raymond Buckley, who is openly gay.

    He wrote in a statement that the organization, by backing Sullivan, has shown “it has completely lost its way.”

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 18, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Hong Kong: Court Rules against Marriage Equality

    A court in Hong Kong has declined to establish marriage equality, but recommended that the government make a “comprehensive review” of laws that might lead to court actions over anti-LGBTQ discrimination. There is no right to same-sex marriage under existing laws, and it would be “beyond the proper scope of the functions and powers of the court to change a social policy on a fundamental issue,” Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming of the Court of First Instance wrote in a ruling issued on Friday, 18 October 2019, the "South China Morning Post" reports.

    The ruling came in a lawsuit by a woman, identified only as MK, who said that being prevented from marrying her female partner, or at least entering into a civil union, violated the city’s Basic Law, which is considered a “mini-constitution” and its Bill of Rights. Hong Kong is part of China, but it retains legal autonomy in many matters.

    Justice Chow said the Basic Law cannot be interpreted as allowing same-sex marriage. “While the word ‘marriage’ may now be understood in some parts of the world as being applicable to same-sex couples, it is, I consider, how the word is, and has always been, understood in Hong Kong … for the purpose of interpretation of the Basic Law,” he wrote.

    Through court actions, Hong Kong has recognized same-sex marriages performed in other countries for a few limited purposes, such as the granting of spousal visas and the right to file a joint tax return. But in the case involving tax returns, a court “explicitly said that the decision was unrelated to the question of whether same-sex couples had the right to marry in Hong Kong."

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 18, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Meanwhile, in Bolivia . . .

    Per Noel Fuentes:

    We have this nicely choreographed, quick-paced, pro-LGBT clip. I have not yet decided which of the two, both in heels, to be hotter and cuter:

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 18, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Puebla: Olmedo Insists on Guaranteeing Abortion and Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Puebla: Insiste Olmedo en Avalar Aborto y Matrimonio Igualitario

    Nuevamente, la diputada Rocío García Olmedo (PRI), Presidenta de la Comisión de Equidad e Igualdad de Género, ingresó las reformas al Código Penal y Civil de Puebla para no criminalizar el aborto y avalar el matrimonio igualitario en el estado de Puebla.

    La legisladora del PRI dio a conocer que hace unos días ingresó en la Secretaría General del Poder Legislativo los documentos para modificar el Artículo 294 del Código Civil que podrían validar la unión entre dos personas del mismo sexo, y los Artículos 342 al 348 del Código Penal para eliminar las penas en contra de las mujeres que interrumpan su embarazo antes de las 12 semanas, es decir, el aborto.

    Once again, the deputy Rocío García Olmedo (PRI), President of the Committee on Equity and Gender Equality, introduced the reforms to the Criminal and Civil Codes of Puebla to decriminalize abortion and to guarantee marriage equality in the state of Puebla.

    The PRI legislator announced that a few days ago she entered into the General Secretariat of the Legislative Power the documents to modify Article 294 of the Civil Code that would validate the union between two people of the same sex, and Articles 342 to 348 of the Criminal Code to eliminate penalties against women who terminate their pregnancy before 12 weeks, that is, abortion.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  October 18, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    First UK branch of US chicken chain Chick-fil-A will close after backlash over its owner's anti-LGBT stance

    The first UK branch of a popular American chicken restaurant is set to close following a backlash over its owner's stance on LGBT rights.The opening in the Oracle shopping centre prompted harsh criticism from LGBT groups as the founder's son opposed gay marriage seven years ago in 2012.

    Both chief executive Dan Cathy and his late father Samual, who founded the chain in 1946, have publically made donations towards anti-LGBT groups. After Mr Cathy Jr publicly opposed same-sex marriage in 2012, LGBT people began a series of boycotts, kiss-ins and same-sex marriages outside the restaurants across the US.

    Samuel Cathy used Chick-fil-A profits to fund charities including Exodus International, a group which promoted gay and transgender conversion therapy. His son has also been accused of recently providing 1.9 million US dollars (£1.4 million) to the charity Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which opposes same-sex relationships.

    After Chick-fil-A announced its plans for its Reading branch, the decision was condemned by LGBT rights groups across the UK.

    Reading Pride said: 'The chain's ethos and moral stance goes completely against our values, and that of the UK as we are a progressive country that has legalised same-sex marriage for some years and continues to strive towards equality.'

    Reading Pride said it still plans to hold a protest this morning despite the announcement and will continue to protest against the restaurant until it closes in six months' time.

  • 17. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 19, 2019 at 4:25 am

    I'm really conflicted about issues like this. Isn't this story an example of reverse discrimination? Discrimination in any of it's forms is unacceptable to social justice. While I personally will not patronize a Chick-fil-A, I do not believe that it is just to say, "Because one has different beliefs than I, they do not have a right to do business in a mall." The restaurant chain is a place of public accommodation and does not withhold their services from anyone. I read this story yesterday from another source. I question whether this is an actual and true account of what happened.

  • 18. JayJonson  |  October 19, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    I don't know why you would question the accuracy of the news account. It is basically the same in the New York Times.

    I do not see this as an example of reverse discrimination. No government has ruled that Chick-fil-A cannot operate; the protestors did not shut down the company, they merely pointed out the anti-gay actions taken by the company and/or its owners; the mall did not shut down the company, they merely decided that they did not want to do business with a company that generates money to fund anti-equality efforts and therefore would not renew the lease to this particular shop. The company continues to exist and remains free to donate its money to whatever causes it wants to support. The protestors are also free to call attention to their ugly anti-gay policies. The mall is free to decide that they don't want to be associated with a company whose policies they disapprove of. It seems to me that everyone is excercising their freedoms of speech and association.

    I would add that boycotts are themselves constitutionally protected free speech and are a prominent direct-action technique utitlized by social and political groups of all kinds. Anti-gay groups are always threatening boycotts against companies that enact pro-gay policies or support pro-gay organizations, so it is quite appropriate for gay groups to organize boycotts against companies that support anti-gay organizations.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  October 19, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Judicial means are insufficient to protect human rights; if they were, then Jack Baker and Michael McConnell would have had the freedom to marry way back in 1971.

    It is crucial that we press hard on all fronts: we must be fully engaged in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and to that must be added boycotts, demonstrations, parades, news, social media, and all other means of influence.

    Freedom doesn't protect itself!

  • 20. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 20, 2019 at 6:30 am

    I'd like to thank all of you who have responded respectfully and in great detail to my response to this story.

  • 21. VIRick  |  October 18, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Zacatecas: Up-Date on Its "Action of Unconstitutionality"

    Per Raymundo Moreno:

    En el marco de la 3ra reunión de la Coalición Mexicana LGBTI, salude y converse brevemente con la Ministra de la SCJN, Norma Piña Hernández. Le informe sobre la "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" presentada por diputados y diputadas de la legislatura de Zacatecas con motivo del matrimonio igualitario.

    Within the framework of the 3rd meeting of the Coalición Mexicana LGBTI, I greeted and briefly talked with the Supreme Court Justice, Norma Piña Hernández. I informed her about the "Action of Unconstitutionality" presented by the deputies of the Zacatecas legislature on the subject of marriage equality.

    The case in question, Expediente 105/2019, is now listed as #7 of 212 pending suits.

  • 22. VIRick  |  October 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Bangladesh: Transgender Woman Wins Municipal Council Election

    Bangladeshi garment shop owner, Pinki Khatun, was elected councillor for Kotchandpur, a municipality in the country’s westside, after beating her nearest rival by more than 4,000 votes earlier this week, reported "The Straits Times." Local police chief Mahbubul Alam confirmed the win for Khatun on Monday, 13 October 2019.

    The 37-year-old is a youth wing official of the ruling Awami League party. She campaigned as an independent candidate in the 200,000-population municipality of Kotchandpur after the party did not back anyone.

    In parts of South Asia, the term hijra refers to certain women, intersex, and non-binary people assigned male at birth. While some hijra are trans, not all trans people are hijra. In 2013, the Bangladeshi government formally recognized hijras as a separate third gender on official documents, and the option to identify as such was later added to voting forms for the first time this year.

    Around 10,000 people in the country identify as hijras, according to data, but little to no policies protect the community, and government bodies have been accused in the past of enforcing humiliating and strenuous medical examination on them.

  • 23. VIRick  |  October 20, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Baja California Sur: There Have Been 15 Marriages between Same-Sex Couples

    Baja California Sur: Van 15 Matrimonios entre Personas del Mismo Sexo.

    Quince matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo ha celebrado el Registro Civil en el estado. La mayoría de estos se celebrado en La Paz y Los Cabos, y hay dos más agendados. Las reformas al código civil le abrieron la posibilidad a esta forma de unión en matrimonio.

    Un día después de la aprobación legislativa, es decir el 28 de junio, el gobernador del estado, Carlos Mendoza Davis, y el secretario general de Gobierno, Álvaro de la Peña Angulo, firmaron la gaceta para darle validez a la propuesta. En ese sentido, Sergio Aguilar Avilés, director del Registro Civil en la entidad, apuntó que hasta el momento se han celebrado 15 matrimonios, en su mayoría en los municipios de La Paz y Los Cabos, y se tienen 2 matrimonios agendados en la oficialía de La Paz. Sin embargo, en el municipio de Comondú, también ya se llevó a cabo un enlace, el cual fue histórico para esta localidad.

    De igual manera, Aguilar Avilés declaró que la dependencia que dirige recibió 3 solicitudes para cambio de sexo. No obstante, se les informó a los solicitantes de la imposibilidad jurídica de la dirección estatal, por lo que estos promovieron un amparo y protección de la justicia federal, por lo que se les concedió. En cumplimiento de dicha determinación, el Registro Civil realizó la adecuación en las actas de nacimiento de acuerdo a su identidad de género.

    Fifteen same-sex marriages have been celebrated at the state Civil Registry. Most of these were held in La Paz and Los Cabos, and there are two more scheduled. The reforms to the civil code opened the possibility to this form of marriage union.

    One day after legislative approval, that is, on 28 June, the governor of the state, Carlos Mendoza Davis, and the secretary-general of Government, Álvaro de la Peña Angulo, signed the gazette in order to give validity to the proposal. In that sense, Sergio Aguilar Avilés, director of the state Civil Registry, pointed out that so far 15 marriages have been celebrated, mostly in the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos, and 2 more marriages are scheduled for the La Paz office. However, in the municipality of Comondú, a marriage has also already taken place, one which was historic for this locality.

    Similarly, Aguilar Avilés stated that the agency he directs received 3 requests for change of sex. However, the applicants were informed of the legal impossibility given state law, because of which they then promoted an amparo through the federal judiciary, which was duly granted to them. In compliance with said determination, the Civil Registry made the adaptation in the birth certificates in accordance with their gender identity.

  • 24. Randolph_Finder  |  October 20, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Some news out of the United Kingdom. At this point, there are only two places in the United Kingdom that do not allow Marriage Equality. Both look to be changing soon.

    For Northern Ireland, unless the Northern Irish Executive solves its issues and forms in the next 24 hours. (It has been vacant since January 2017), Marriage Equality will come to Northern Ireland.

    For Sark, which is one of the sub-jurisdictions of the Baliwick of Guernsey (one of the Crown Dependencies in the Channel, the Legislature has basically agreed to have a law written that they can pass. (total population of Sark is about 600).

  • 25. VIRick  |  October 20, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    A Re-Iteration of the CIDH Ruling on Marriage Equality and Gender Identity

    As a periodic reminder, this rather lengthly Spanish-language re-iteration of la Opinión Consultiva OC-24/17 of the CIDH on both marriage equality and gender identity, which was issued by the Court on 9 January 2018, and with particular emphasis on the fact that said ruling is both obligatory and binding upon all of the treaty signatories, was written by Lolo Miño, Abogada por la Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and contains one of the clearest summaries of all the precedent which led up to said decision, "Atala Riffo y Niñas contra Chile," "Duque contra Colombia," y "Flor Freire v. Ecuador," as well as what one must now expect going forward:

    La Corte resaltó la importancia de la identidad sexual como un ejercicio de la libre determinación y la libertad personal, reconociendo el derecho de las personas transexuales de cambiar de sexo de tal forma que su apariencia física sea consonante con su identidad autopercibida. Para garantizar aquello, los Estados deben establecer mecanismos expeditos, gratuitos, y confidenciales de registro, modificación, corrección, y cambio para nombre de pila, sexo, género, e imagen fotográfica. La posibilidad de efectuar estos cambios debe sujetarse exclusivamente a la voluntad de la persona, y no a informes médicos, psicológicos, o de cualquier otra índole. Esta garantía se extiende incluso cuando la persona que desea cambiar de sexo e identidad sea un niño, niña, o adolescente, en concordancia con el principio de interés superior del niño.

    Posiblemente el aspecto más destacable de esta Opinión Consultiva, es que se establece un estándar jurisprudencial claro con respecto al derecho de las parejas LGBTI a acceder al matrimonio civil. En este aspecto, la CorteIDH reconoció que la posibilidad de decidir con quién casarse es un aspecto propio del derecho a la libertad y autodeterminación, y que no existe un criterio razonable y lógico para impedir a estas parejas contraer uniones de hecho o matrimonio civil, y enfatizó en el deber estatal de proteger los vínculos familiares de las parejas homosexuales. En este aspecto, resaltó la necesidad de adecuar las normas y prácticas al interior de los Estados para asegurar que las parejas del mismo sexo puedan acceder al matrimonio civil sin más requisitos que aquellos exigidos a las parejas heterosexuales. Aún cuando la Corte reconoció que dicha adecuación legislativa puede tardar algún tiempo, fue firme al indicar que, incluso existiendo normas en contrario, los Estados no pueden —bajo ningún pretexto— impedir o menoscabar el derecho de las parejas homosexuales a casarse, contraer uniones de hecho, y ejercer todos los derechos derivados de esos status civiles, como la herencia, la pensión por muerte, los alimentos. En este sentido, la Corte dijo que aquello no implica menoscabar la institución del matrimonio, sino más bien, reafirmar la necesidad de proteger a las personas y parejas que desearan establecer relaciones familiares estables.
    (to continue in English)

  • 26. VIRick  |  October 20, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    (continued in English)
    A Re-Iteration of the CIDH Ruling on Marriage Equality and Gender Identity

    The Court highlighted the importance of sexual identity as an exercise of self-determination and personal freedom, recognizing the right of transsexual persons to change sex in such a way that their physical appearance is consistent with their self-perceived identity. To guarantee this, the States must establish expedited, free, and confidential mechanisms of registration, modification, correction, and change for first name, sex, gender, and photographic image. The possibility of making these changes should be subject exclusively to the will of the person, and not to medical, psychological, or other reports. This guarantee extends even when the person who wishes to change sex and identity is a boy, girl, or adolescent, in accordance with the principle of the best interests of the child.

    Possibly the most remarkable aspect of this Advisory Opinion is that a clear jurisprudential standard is established regarding the right of LGBTI couples to access civil marriage. In this regard, the Inter-American Court recognized that the possibility of deciding who to marry is an aspect of the right to freedom and self-determination, and that there is no reasonable and logical criterion to prevent these couples from contracting de facto unions or civil marriage, and emphasized the state's duty to protect the family ties of homosexual couples. In this regard, they stressed the need to adapt the laws and practices within the States to ensure that same-sex couples can access civil marriage without more requirements than those required of heterosexual couples. Even though the Court recognized that such legislative adaptation may take some time, it was firm in stating that, even if there are laws to the contrary, States cannot – under any pretext – prevent or impair the right of homosexual couples to marry, to contract de facto unions, and exercise all rights derived from that civil status, such as inheritance, survivor's pension, sustenance. In this regard, the Court said that this does not imply undermining the institution of marriage, but rather, reaffirming the need to protect people and couples who wish to establish stable family relationships.

  • 27. VIRick  |  October 21, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Northern Ireland Prepares for Marriage Equality/Right to Abortion

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Campaigners who fought for decades to end Northern Ireland's ban on same sex-marriage, as well as to end the heavy restrictions on abortion, prepared on Monday for a momentous change to the laws on both, precisely at the stroke of midnight, 21/22 October 2019 (in approximately one hour's time, locally, but a point in time which has already happened, 4 hours ago, Irish time).

    Northern Ireland was the only part of the United Kingdom that did not allow same-sex marriage. Also, unlike England, Scotland, and Wales, laws in Northern Ireland forbade abortion except where a mother's life is at risk, bans that have been upheld by the region's block of conservative politicians.

    But an overwhelming vote by British lawmakers in July to compel the government in London to overhaul the laws of Northern Ireland, if Belfast's devolved executive has not been restored by 21 October, was set to kick in with little or no hope of politicians ending the local parliament's nearly three-year hiatus. If a new devolved government were not formed by midnight (and it has not been formed), abortion will be decriminalized, beginning a consultation on what the framework for services should look like, which is due to be finalized and approved by March 2020.

    As for marriage equality, it will take the British parliament until mid-January to bring in the new legislation, setting up 14 February 2020 – Valentine's Day – as the first opportunity for same-sex couples to marry, once they have given the required 28-days' notice.

    ¡Entérate! Matrimonio igualitario y el aborto son legales en Irlanda del Norte.

  • 28. guitaristbl  |  October 22, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Lets not forget that DUP leader Arlene Foster tried to the very last minute to stop this by trying (and failing) to re-establish the NI assembly through a petition of recall that ended up in a rather hilariously awkward session of her party mostly only in the chamber trying to go through parliamentary business (such as electing speaker) without the proper numbers of MPs present.

    At the end she gave up and left after throwing a temper tantrum on how this not the end of it and she will go to courts and find ways to overturn abortion and ssm legalization.

    All that in the same week that her party's House of Commons delegation fights over having Ireland in full regulatory sync with the rest of the UK after Brexit – apparently except from the issues the DUP doesnt like.

    If our American friends ever find themselves feeling embarassed by the GOP they can always think the DUP exists on the other side of the atlantic as proof that crazy knows no boundaries.

  • 29. JayJonson  |  October 22, 2019 at 8:26 am

    So glad that Justin Trudeau will continue as Prime Minister of Canada. His Liberal Party lost some seats and will govern as a minority party. But the Liberals won more seats than the Conservatives and almost 70% of the votes were cast for Left or Center Left parties. Like the U.S. Canada is a divided country, with a big divide between rural and urban areas. Trudeau won reelection by overwhelming votes in Montreal, Toronto, and Atlantic Canada, while the Conservatives swept Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and other rural areas.

    In his victory speech, Trudeau said, "From coast to coast to coast tonight, Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity and they voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.

    "It has been the greatest honour to serve you for these past four years and tonight you're sending us back to work for you. We take this responsibility seriously and we will work hard for you, for your families and for your future."

  • 30. guitaristbl  |  October 22, 2019 at 9:21 am

    The most stinging part for Conservatives is that in their effort to bring down Trudeau they created an even worse situation for them by denying him an absolute majority. Now they force him into a coalition or just agreement for parliamentary support with the even more progressive NDP definately tilting the agenda to the left on many issues compared to what a simple liberal majority would bring.

    Also Scheer's tactics to brand himself and his party in a way similar to Ontario premier Doug Ford (a trump-like figure) on issues such as climate, "religious freedom" etc made him face the same fate as the GOP : regulating his party as a rural party of a poorly educated ageing electorate. Yes he completely dominated the texas and alabama equivalents of Canada – Alberta and Saskatchewan – but even in his concession speech he branded himself as a winner with no need to reach out – and in a much more urbanized compared to the US Canada, this wont get him further especially as climate change takes the central stage as an issue and he tries to appease the aforementioned in denial territories who live on delusions of coal and oil glory like WV.

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