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11/5 news round-up and open thread

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

– Danica Roem, the first transgender person to be elected to a state legislature, just won re-election in Virginia.

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


  • 1. VIRick  |  November 6, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Chile: Senate Constitution Committee Approves Marriage Equality Bill

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Today, 5 November 2019, the Senate Constitution Committee of Chile's legislature finally approved former President Michelle Bachelet's August 2017 marriage equality bill, 3-0, and sent it on to its next step (to the full Senate body). Chile's Congress and courts have been slow on marriage equality, and the current executive has been obstructionist.

    Per Felipe Harboe, Senador por las Regiones de Ñuble y Bío-Bío:

    Hoy, la Comisión de Constitución del Senado aprobó en general el proyecto de matrimonio igualitario. “Es un paso para terminar con una discriminación legal y hacernos cargo de una realidad social del Chile de hoy.”

    Today the Constitution Committee of the Senate in general approved the marriage equality bill. "It is a step to end legal discrimination and to take charge of a social reality in today's Chile.

  • 2. VIRick  |  November 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Veracruz: Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality This Term

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    El nuevo presidente de la Mesa Directiva del Congreso Estatal, Rubén Ríos Uribe (PES), se comprometió que en la agenda del segundo año de ejercicio de la Cámara se incluirá temas como ampliar las causales del aborto y el matrimonio igualitario.

    A diferencia de Pozos Castro (el previo), quien incluso se reunió con líderes religiosos, el diputado estatal aseguró que la Cámara no puede ir en contra de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) o de tratados internacionales.

    The new president of the Board of Directors of the State Congress, Rubén Ríos Uribe (PES), promised that issues such as expanding the reasons for abortion and marriage equality will be included in the agenda of the second year of work for the Congress.

    Unlike Pozos Castro (the previous one), who even met with religious leaders, the state deputy said that the Congress cannot go against the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) or international treaties.

    The new president of the Congress, who sets the agenda, Ríos Uribe, represents the more progressive city of Córdoba, and ought to be more amenable to bringing up a vote on marriage equality, unlike the previous president, Pozos Castro, the old-time, manipulative priista from Tuxpan who was against everything.

  • 3. VIRick  |  November 6, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    New York: Federal Judge Strikes Down HHS Rule Allowing Denial of Health Care Based on Religious Belief

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 6 November 2019, in "New York v. HHS," three consolidated federal cases challenging the HHS rule allowing denial of health care based on religious, ethical, or other beliefs, Judge Paul Engelmayer has struck down the rule that was set to go into effect on 22 November.

    "For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment; denies HHS’s motions both to dismiss and for summary judgment; and denies as moot plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary relief. The Court accordingly vacates HHS’s 2019 Rule in its entirety."

    The Opinion and Order is here:

    Note: Although couched in language that included the dog-whistle about "religious freedom," this HHS 2019 Rule was aimed at exempting healthcare providers, who had whatever objections they might have, from providing healthcare pertaining to matters such as abortion, transgender transitioning, even HIV treatment.

    See the even more abrupt "from-the-bench" ruling of 7 November 2019 in Washington State against this same HHS 2019 Rule 6 posts down.

  • 4. VIRick  |  November 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Indianapolis Elects 4 LGBTQ City-County Council Members

    Indiana voters just quadrupled the number of LGBTQ members sitting on the Indianapolis City-County Council, as voters elected out candidates Alison Brown, Ethan Evans, and Keith Potts to the body, in addition to re-electing Zach Adamson, according to local TV station WTHR, making this a record number. Brown, who identifies as queer, becomes the first woman from the LGBTQ community to serve on the council.

    The election of four LGBTQ candidates in Indianapolis came as Democrats won a supermajority on that council for the first time, as all four out candidates are Democrats.

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 7, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Virginia: Two New Progressive Fairfax County School Board Members

    On Tuesday, 5 November 2019, an anti-LGBTQ member of the Fairfax County School Board lost her re-election bid, as Laura Jane Cohen defeated Elizabeth Schultz by a 51-42 percent margin. Schultz, a Republican who represents the Springfield District on the board, in 2015 voted against the inclusion of gender identity in the Fairfax County School District’s non-discrimination policy.

    Also on Tuesday, Karl Frisch defeated Republican Andrea Bayer by a 62-39 percent margin. Frisch, who will represent the Providence District on the Fairfax County School Board, will be the board’s first openly gay member when he takes office.

    This fairly well finishes off the process of turning Fairfax County entirely Democratic. More recently, it is being followed by Prince William County to its south (the home of Danica Roem, and where Democrats have finally won a majority on the county Board of Supervisors), and even much more recently, by Loudoun County to its west (the home of newly-elected John Bell and the cyclist, Juli Briskman).

    Fairfax (1.1 million), Prince William (460,000), and Loudoun (400,000) counties are the 3 most-populous counties in Virginia. Since Fairfax is already wall-to-wall people, as are the other two Democratic strongholds, Arlington (235,000) and Alexandria (150,000), continuing population growth in the DC metro area is focused on the other two, Prince William and Loudoun. This ever-growing "package of 5" has been the main force in flipping the entire state blue.

  • 6. Randolph_Finder  |  November 13, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Right now, the Democratic Caucus in both houses is fairly balanced between 1) DC Metro and 2)Richmond&Norfolk metro with a few Democratic seats (mostly with colleges/universities in them) holding the balance.

  • 7. VIRick  |  November 7, 2019 at 9:52 am

    College Park, Maryland: Gay Mayor, Councilman Both Win Re-Election

    On Tuesday, 5 November 2019, Mayor Patrick Wojahn and City Councilman PJ Brennan (District 2) were re-elected by voters who resoundingly rejected anti-LGBTQ rhetoric by one of the mayoral candidates. Wojahn received 1,532 votes, defeating challengers Nikesha Pancho and Lalzarliani Malsawma by a wide margin. The result reflected voter sentiment following an October debate during which residents walked out after Malsawma’s homophobic comments against Wojahn’s sexual orientation, and his efforts to make the city more LGBTQ-friendly.

    Wojahn, who is originally from Wisconsin, said he and his husband Dave have made College Park their home for 16 years and feel welcomed by the community.

    Brennan, who grew up in Towson MD, similarly found a home for his husband and two sons in College Park. Though his extended family still lives in Towson, he remained close to them even while campaigning.

  • 8. VIRick  |  November 7, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Virginia: Cyclist Who Flipped off Trump, Lost Job, Wins Election

    The cyclist who was fired for famously flipping off Trump’s motorcade in 2017 is now an elected official after winning her race for supervisor in the Algonkian District on the Loudoun County VA Board of Supervisors, according to CNN. Briskman beat the Republican incumbent, Suzanne Volpe, with 54 percent of the vote, according to "BuzzFeed News."

    A photo of Juli Briskman flipping off Trump’s motorcade as it passed her while she was riding her bike near his golf course in Sterling VA in 2017 went viral. She was then forced to resign from her marketing executive position at Akima LLC, a federal government contractor fearful of losing future government contracts.

    Briskman leaned into the viral moment when she announced her bid for the supervisor seat in 2018. She shared an article from "The Washington Post" that bore the headline "The cyclist who flipped off Trump's motorcade is running for public office."

    Regarding her viral moment, Briskman said in 2018, "I don't employ that gesture very often, but I wanted to express my opinion. I was faced with tinted, bullet-proof glass, and I was assuming the person in the car was who I thought it was.”

    After she was fired from her job, Briskman filed suit against Akima LLC on the basis that it violated her freedom of speech. She was awarded severance, according to the "Post."

    Note: Trump's golf course in Sterling VA is located within the same Loudoun County for which Juli Briskman has now been elected as one of its county supervisors.

  • 9. VIRick  |  November 7, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Cayman Islands: Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Overturned; Government Must Provide Marriage Equivalent

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Court of Appeal has ruled that lawmakers must provide Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush with legal status equivalent to marriage.

    Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s previous ruling legalizing same-sex marriage has been overturned by the Court of Appeal. However the same court ruling stated that legislators must provide Chantelle Day and her partner Vickie Bodden Bush with legal status equivalent to marriage, according to the summary note provided by the court today, 7 November 2019.

    According to said summary note: “As we state in the judgment, that the Legislative Assembly had such an obligation, has been apparent for years. Its failure to comply with its obligations under the law in that regard is woeful.”

    The court said their legal protections under the law should be made “expeditiously:” “In recognition of the longstanding and continuing failure of the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands to comply with its legal obligations under section 9 of the Bill of Rights and in recognition of the Legislative Assembly’s longstanding and continuing violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights… It is declared that Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush are entitled, expeditiously, to legal protection in the Cayman Islands, which is functionally equivalent to marriage.”

    Attorney and LGBTQ activist Leonardo Raznovich bristled at the notion that the court did not agree with Smellie’s previous ruling, saying that the court should have “remedy to an applicant in circumstances in which the government admitted in court to have breached the constitution and is prepared to do nothing about it.”

    “It is a sad day for Caymanians because their constitution has not been properly upheld by their own courts, and for this reason a sad day for the jurisdiction and its future. I would express my utter disgust at the politicized judgment and epic and inexcusable failure of the Court of Appeal to correctly apply the law and find appropriate and adequate constitutional remedy for Chantelle and Vickie,” Raznovich said in a statement following the ruling. “The Court of Appeal rewrote section 14 of the Constitution today to help the government.”

    Raznovich worries that government will not act on the court order, a point which the court did address in its summary note: “We also state that it would be wholly unacceptable for this declaration to be ignored: that there can be no justification for further delay or prevarication. That in the absence of expeditious action by the Legislative Assembly, we would expect the United Kingdom Government to recognize its legal responsibility and take action to bring this unsatisfactory state of affairs to and end,” according to the summary.

  • 10. scream4ever  |  November 7, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    This is essentially equivalent to the original rulings in Vermont and New Jersey in the early 2000s.

  • 11. VIRick  |  November 8, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Cayman Islands: Court of Appeal Judgment Now Available

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The entire 37-page, 3-judge panel (consisting of John Goldring, president, Richard Field, and Dennis Morrison), Court of Appeal marriage equality judgment is now available and can be found here:

  • 12. VIRick  |  November 7, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Washington State: Second Federal Judge Rules against HHS "Conscience Rule"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 7 November 2019, Judge Bastian ruled from the bench in "Washington v. Azar," the state's federal challenge to HHS's so-called "conscience rule" (HHS 2019 Rule) allowing for the denial of healthcare. His written opinion will follow. He granted Washington State's motion for summary judgment; the RULE IS VACATED.

    This is the second judge in two days to vacate the rule. In summary, Judge Bastian concluded (1) it is appropriate for him to rule on the cross-motions for summary judgment; (2) the rule exceeds HHS's statutory authority; (3) the rule is arbitrary and capricious for reasons articulated in yesterday's opinion from Judge Englemayer in the New York cases; (4) the rule is unconstitutional in certain respects.

    His written opinion will focus on aspects of this case that Judge Paul Englemayer did not address in his ruling in New York. (See Judge Englemayer's ruling in New York, 6 posts above.)

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  November 7, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    ‘If you’re 60 or older, forget about it’: Trump sells his judiciary takeover: The president is trying to bolster support among conservatives by heralding his efforts to ensure conservative control of the judiciary.

    There’s a saying inside Trump world when it comes to choosing nominees for judicial vacancies: “If you’re 60 or older, forget about it.” President Donald Trump wants to ensure conservative control of the federal court system for the next 50 years — not just the next decade.

    To mark his latest step toward achieving that goal, the president invited Republican senators, conservative attorneys and religious freedom proponents to a ritzy White House event on Wednesday where he announced that his own appointees will soon constitute a quarter of the nation’s 179 appeals court judges.

    “This is such a big moment in our history,” he said, claiming that he will take the lead “in terms of [the] quality and quantity” of his judicial appointees “by the time we finish.”

    Trump continued, “The average age of my newly appointed circuit court judges is under 50. They’re young, smart and that’s 10 years younger than the average age of President Obama’s nominees.”

    Trump’s record number of judicial appointments could easily become the most enduring aspect of his legacy if impeachment costs him his bid for reelection next November. Not only does the appointment of conservative judges consistently top his supporters’ list of priorities, it is frequently cited by White House allies and GOP candidates as one of the most successful aspects of his presidency. Aided by Senate Republicans, Trump has managed to install a record 157 judges across the federal judiciary — including two Supreme Court justices — and to reverse alleged partisan imbalances in several district courts.

    “A number of circuits have flipped from majority-Democratic appointees to majority-Republican appointees. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is getting closer to being even,” said Shackelford. (Trump has made more appointments to the 9th Circuit, which he has accused of handing down “ridiculous” rulings, than any other federal appeals court.)

  • 14. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 8, 2019 at 5:28 am

    Trump Sells His Judiciary Takeover

    Yes, Ian, that is probably the most Horrible  Atrocious  Appalling  Disgusting (choose your own adjective) legacy of the Trump presidency, unfortunately, only time can fix. That demonstrates how important it is that we flip the senate, retain the house, and take the presidency. It means we must pass the equality act to protect our hard-won civil rights.

    All of us and others know how important it is to get rid of Trump; the problem is, I don’t sense that an appropriate grassroots effort is being mobilized. I know, I for one cannot go canvasing from door to door. I, however, do know another way to accomplish the same thing. As a California resident, living in the red part of California, I participated in a meaningful way to get out the vote in Virginia and the positive result it had. There is an organization Swing Left. We have a group in Clovis CA. A Virginia non-profit get out the vote group asked Swing Left CA to provide 30,000 personalized form letters. They were hand personalized, hand addressed/return addressed and a real stamp. All these letters were written to known registered voters in Virginia to reach the voter’s home one week before the election. The premise is that the larger the voter turn-out the more likely Democratic voters will vote.

    I encourage all the members of this blog who are eligible to vote in the US to go to the web site of Swing Left and check out a local group in your area.

  • 15. VIRick  |  November 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Texas: Nikki Araguz Loyd, Trans Rights Activist, Dead at 44

    Nikki Araguz Loyd, a transgender artist and activist for causes including marriage equality and HIV awareness, and who personally fought for recognition of her marriage to a Texas firefighter who had died on the job, has herself died at age 44. Her husband, Houston-based artist William Loyd, reported her death on Thursday, 7 November 2019. No cause of death was given.

    Araguz Loyd, who was born in California but spent much of her life in Texas, first became prominent in the 1990s, appearing on TV talk shows to discuss being transgender and the fact that she contracted HIV when she was raped as a youth.

    After the breakup of her first marriage, to Emilio Delgado, she met Thomas Araguz III, a trucker and volunteer firefighter in the small town of Wharton TX. They fell in love quickly and married in 2008, and he soon gave up his trucking job to be a full-time firefighter. Nikki started a magazine in Wharton and ran unsuccessfully for mayor. In 2010, she was widowed when Thomas died fighting a blaze at an egg production plant.

    When she tried to claim a portion of his death benefits, his family fought her, claiming she was not really his widow — that their marriage was not valid because she had been assigned male at birth and had not had gender-confirmation surgery by the time of their marriage, although she did shortly afterward. And Texas did not recognize same-sex marriages at the time. A Texas judge initially declared the marriage invalid, but after several years of court battles, in 2015 an appeals court ordered the first judge to reverse his ruling.

    Loyd, an artist, soon became her third husband. They ran a gallery together in Houston for a time, and she became stepmother to his two children.

    Here is the court case:

    Wharton TX — A Texas state appeals court has reaffirmed its earlier decision in "Delgado v. Araguz" to validate the marriage of a transgender widow seeking the estate of her firefighter husband who died battling a blaze. The ruling Friday, 23 October 2015, by the 13th Texas Court of Appeals sent the case of Nikki Araguz Loyd back to a Wharton County judge who originally voided the marriage because (at the time) Texas did not recognize same-sex marriage. Kent Rutter, an attorney for Araguz Loyd, said Monday, 26 October 2015, that that earlier ruling meant Araguz Loyd was not entitled to Thomas Araguz's estate.

    However, Rutter says the Texas appeals court had then ruled in early 2014 in Araguz Loyd's favor, determining she was a woman at the time of her marriage, but then had to issue another ruling at this time after an appeal sent to the Texas Supreme Court was not heard and was thus returned back to the lower court.

  • 16. VIRick  |  November 8, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Tecamachalco, Puebla: First Same-Sex Marriage

    Per "La Opinión Tecamachalco:"

    En apego a las reformas del Código Civil Federal, ayer, el 7 de noviembre 2019, se celebró el primer matrimonio igualitario en Tecamachalco, por lo que Marisol Cruz García, alcaldesa de Tecamachalco, Valentín Luna Navarro, director del Registro Civil del municipio, así como otros funcionarios, y familiares, y amigos de las contrayentes, Sonia Villaseñor y Maricela Villegas, se dieron cita en el palacio municipal. En la región, es el segundo municipio (Tepeaca fue el primero) que realiza este protocolo de reconocimiento legal.

    In accordance with the reforms of the Federal Civil Code, yesterday, 7 November 2019, the first equal marriage was celebrated in Tecamachalco, for which Marisol Cruz García, mayor of Tecamachalco, Valentín Luna Navarro, director of the municipal Civil Registry, as well as other officials, family, and friends of the parties, Sonia Villaseñor and Maricela Villegas, met in the municipal palace. In the region, it is the second municipality (Tepeaca was the first) that performs this protocol of legal recognition.

    Note: Tecamachalco is located in the east-central part of the state of Puebla. Despite the fact that the Puebla state legislature recently refused to up-date the state civil code to allow for marriage equality, the Supreme Court ruling requiring it remains in effect (although this article claims that such was due to reforms to the federal civil code). Either way, marriage equality remains in effect in Puebla state, and will continue to remain in effect.

  • 17. VIRick  |  November 8, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Panamanian President Calls for Exclusion from Reform Article Defining Marriage as Hetero

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Presidente Panameño Pide Excluir de Reforma Artículo que Define Matrimonio como Heterosexual

    El presidente de Panamá, Laurentino Cortizo, anunció este viernes, el 8 de noviembre 2019, que su gobierno pedirá eliminar de las reformas constitucionales un polémico artículo donde solo se reconoce el matrimonio entre un hombre y una mujer, lo que originó protestas en el país.

    "En el tema vinculado al matrimonio la recomendación es mantener el texto de la Constitución vigente", señaló Cortizo.

    La Asamblea, de mayoría oficialista, ya aprobó el proyecto de reformas, pero Cortizo propondrá eliminar o modificar 20 artículos (de 23), entre ellos el referido al matrimonio, cuando el órgano legislativo vuelva a debatirlo en 2020, antes de llevarlo a referéndum.

    The president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, announced Friday, 8 November 2019, that his government will ask to eliminate from the constitutional reforms a controversial article that only recognizes the marriage between a man and a woman, one which caused protests in the country.

    "On the issue related to marriage, the recommendation is to keep the text of the current Constitution," Cortizo said.

    The Assembly, of an officialist majority, has already approved the reform project, but Cortizo will propose eliminating or modifying 20 articles (of 23), including those related to marriage, when the legislative body will discuss it again in 2020, before taking it to a referendum.

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  November 8, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Protests, arrests and injuries as Georgians protest gay film's debut – Hundreds gathered on Friday in the former Soviet republic to protest the opening of "And Then We Danced," a critically acclaimed LGBTQ film.

    The protested film, “And Then We Danced,” portrays a young man in the Georgian national ballet company who falls in love with a rival performer. The same-sex love story, directed by Levan Akin, a Swedish national of Georgian descent, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has been selected as Sweden’s entry for the Academy Award for best international feature.

    Demonstrators in downtown Tbilisi tried to break into one of six cinemas showing the film but were held back by police.

    Local activist Ana Subeliani was among those injured during the protest. Images of her bleeding and in an ambulance circulated on social media, while local news agencies reported live from the theater showing filmgoers being ushered quickly into the building among heavy police guard. In a Facebook post, however, Subeliani claimed “police did nothing” as she and her friends “were severely beaten and threatened.”

    Tbilisi Pride, which in July organized the country’s first-ever LGBTQ pride march, also accused police of failing to adequately provide protection to participants.

    “The Georgian Orthodox Church has always been, is, and will continue to be, categorically incompatible with the promotion and legalization of sin as well as the sodomite relationship,” the church wrote in a statement. “That is why we find it unacceptable to see such a movie in movie theaters.”

    "It is absurd that people who bought tickets need to be brave and risk getting harassed or even assaulted just for going to see a film," Akin wrote on Instagram. “I made this film with love and compassion. It is my love letter to Georgia and to my heritage. With this story I wanted to reclaim and redefine Georgian culture to include all not just some.”

  • 19. VIRick  |  November 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    LGBT Humor da Coruña, España

    Per Andamio de Enfrente:

    Es aprobada la ley de matrimonio gay.
    La iglesia se adapta a las nuevas circunstancias:
    "No al divorcio gay!"

    The law for same-sex marriage is approved.
    The church adapts itself to the new circumstances:
    "No to gay divorce!"

  • 20. VIRick  |  November 8, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Monaco: Another Push for LGBT Civil Unions

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The 24 legislators of the Conseil National unanimously push for the original "PACS" civil unions bill, first introduced as legislation in 2013, although the president of that body, Stéphane Valéri, has delayed the vote on it until 2 December 2019, due in large part to the excess interference of the Archbishop of Monaco, Mgr B. Barsi, who Valéri reprimanded: "l’Église ne peut être considérée comme co-législateur." (The church can not be considered as co-legislator.)

    Previously, the 24-member Conseil National had voted unanimously for such LGBT civil unions, but the Prince rejected it.

    Note: In the meantime, any same-sex couples from Monaco who wish to marry can do so at the Mairie de Beausoleil, facing the town square and La Poste of Beausoleil, France, at the top of a step-street between Route D-53 and Rue Jules Ferry, a mere 3 blocks from the Monaco-France border. However, I suspect that recognition of said marriage in Monaco would still be an issue.

  • 21. allan120102  |  November 9, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Zacatecas action of unconstitionality has been thrown out by the supreme court

  • 22. JayJonson  |  November 9, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Can you explain the effect of this ruling? Will it make same-sex marriages available without amparos? (Or are they already available?) I take it that the Court may be getting impatient with these stalling actions by state legislators.

  • 23. allan120102  |  November 9, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Actually Is the contrary. The supreme court says that the legislators of Zacatecas could not file an action of unconstitutionalty because it does not meet the requirement to file one.

  • 24. scream4ever  |  November 9, 2019 at 8:30 am

    So now the citizens must?

  • 25. allan120102  |  November 9, 2019 at 9:35 am

    The Time for another action of Unconstitutionality has passed if I am wrong. They Will need to wait for the state congress to act again.

  • 26. scream4ever  |  November 9, 2019 at 9:40 am

    So what happens now?

  • 27. VIRick  |  November 9, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    We wait. In the meantime, any same-sex couples wishing to marry have several choices:

    1. File an amparo (which at this stage is a waste of time and money).
    2. Travel to one of the 3 municipalities within Zacatecas state which will allow them to be married there.
    3. Travel to one of the neighboring states, Coahuila, Aguascalientes, or Jalisco, all with marriage equality, and marry there. Saltillo, Coahuila, as well as Encarnación de Díaz (sitting right on the Aguascalientes state line) and Guadalajara, as well as any number of its suburban municipalities like Zapopan, in Jalisco, all continue to engage in the "marriage business" and have no problem marrying same-sex couples.

    Encarnación de Díaz is one of those fascinating old historic towns in central Mexico that no one has ever heard of, but which has been cashing in on marrying all and sundry, while touting its history as a convenient honeymoon venue.ón_

  • 28. VIRick  |  November 9, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Jay, as of last report, three municipalities, of 58 total, within the state of Zacatecas, basing their decision solely upon Supreme Court jurisprudence, will marry same-sex couples without amparo: Ciudad Zacatecas, Cuauhtémoc, and Villanueva. Taken together, the three account for about 12.5 percent of the state's population.

  • 29. VIRick  |  November 9, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Zacatecas: SCJN Rejects "Action of Unconstitutionality" for Marriage Equality Filed by 63rd Legislature

    Zacatecas: Desecha SCJN "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" de Matrimonios Igualitarios Interpuesta por 63ra Legislatura

    Cuauhtémoc Palestina Flores, secretario técnico de la fracción parlamentaria de Morena, informó que la SCJN alegó que como fue una resolución, no alcanzó el estatus de norma general, es decir, lo consideró un acto de la Legislatura y no una norma general, como lo marca la Ley Reglamentaria del Artículo 105 que es la que aplica la "acciones de inconstitucionalidad," controversias constitucionales, y la Constitución Política.

    Sin embargo, garantizó que no todo está perdido para los miembros de la comunidad LGTIQ que reclaman sus derechos, ya que todavía falta que se resuelvan los amparos que se interpusieron, además de que se puede volver a sacar la iniciativa en el próximo periodo parlamentario.

    Asimismo, dijo que los magistrados “se han dado un balazo en el pie,” porque ellos mismos ha dicho a través de tesis jurisprudenciales que por lo tanto tiene un carácter vinculatorio. Los estados que contengan normas en sus códigos familiares o civiles relativos al matrimonio, y que establezcan como la unión de un hombre y un mujer con fin de procreación, son inconstitucionales, y por lo tanto deberían modificarlos.

    Cuauhtémoc Palestina Flores, technical secretary of the Morena parliamentary group, reported that the SCJN alleged that as it was a resolution, it did not reach the status of a general rule, that is, it considered it an act of the Legislature and not a general rule, as indicated by the Regulatory Law of Article 105 which is the one that applies to "Actions of Unconstitutionality," constitutional controversies, and the Political Constitution.

    However, he guaranteed that not everything is lost for the members of the LGTIQ community who are claiming their rights, since the amparos that were interposed have yet to be resolved, in addition to the initiative itself being able to be presented again in the next parliamentary period.

    He also said that the justices "have shot themselves in the foot," because they themselves have said through jurisprudential thesis that it therefore has a binding character. States that contain regulations in their family or civil codes relating to marriage, and which establish the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation, are unconstitutional, and that therefore they must be modified.

  • 30. VIRick  |  November 9, 2019 at 11:15 am

    This is what is still showing on the SCJN website in the Sección de Trámite de Controversias Constitucionales y de "Acciones de Inconstitucionalidad," and marked as Expediente 105/2019, case 21 of 216 pending cases:

    A. Norma general reclamada: — Resolución de la LXIII Legislatura del Estado de Zacatecas de no aprobación del Dictamen, relativo a las Iniciativas con Proyecto de Decreto, por las que se reforma el Código Familiar del Estado de Zacatecas, en materia de matrimonio igualitario.”

    A. General rule demanded: — Resolution of the LXIII Legislature of the State of Zacatecas of the non-approval of the Draft, relative to the Initiatives with a Draft Decree, by which the Family Code of the State of Zacatecas is amended, in the matter of marriage equality."

  • 31. VIRick  |  November 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Zacatecas: "Action of Unconstitutionality" Can Not Be Used against Non-Reforms

    Per Carlos Escoffié, abogado de DDHH, Yucatán:‏

    Una "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" no procede contra no-reformas, por lo que no es un medio idóneo cuando un Congreso rechaza una iniciativa sobre matrimonio igualitario. No significa que SCJN avaló ese rechazo en Zacatecas.

    An "Action of Unconstitutionality" does not proceed against non-reforms, so for this reason, it is not an ideal method when a Congress rejects an initiative on marriage equality. It does not mean that the SCJN endorsed that rejection in Zacatecas.

  • 32. VIRick  |  November 10, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Zacatecas: Collective Amparo in Favor of Marriage Equality Still in Process

    Per Raymundo Moreno, abogado de DDHH, Zacatecas:

    Cabe señalar que el amparo colectivo interpuesto por los Colectivos (LGBT) fue admitido a trámite hace más de un mes. Dicho amparo cuenta con el acompañamiento de la CNDH. Tenemos absoluta confianza de que se resolverá favorablemente.

    It should be noted that the collective amparo filed by the (LGBT) Collectives was admitted for processing more than a month ago. Said amparo is counting upon its CNDH accompaniment. We have absolute confidence that it will be resolved favorably.

    So, it is far from over. A statewide collective amparo in favor of all and sundry who might ever wish to marry in Zacatecas is precisely what Mapo is also in process of seeking in the states of Querétaro and México (Edomex).

  • 33. ianbirmingham  |  November 9, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Kavanaugh & Alito urged 2 recuse themselves from LGBT cases 4 posing 4 pix with NOM's President

    A recent photo showing Kavanaugh and Alito posing with members of NOM (anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage) and the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. NOM advocates for what they claim is "traditional marriage," and hope to take marriage rights away from same sex couples. The group's president is Brian Brown, who boasted of a "great day at the US Supreme Court" when posting the contentious photo to his Twitter account on October 29. Brown is also the president of the World Congress of Families, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    "The credibility and impartiality of the current Supreme Court is in tatters … Posing for photographs with the president of an advocacy organization that has filed briefs in matters pending before the court [The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in multiple cases that could have serious implications for LGBT employment rights] makes a mockery of Chief Justice Roberts' assertion that a judge's role is to impartially call balls and strikes."

  • 34. VIRick  |  November 9, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    South Dakota: Crow Creek Sioux Adopt Hate Crime Law to Protect LGBTQ Persons

    The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe has become the second tribe to adopt a hate crime law that protects LGBTQ persons. The law adopted is modeled after the Matthew Shepard Act, reports South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, that law expanded existing federal hate-crime laws to include actions motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disability. The new Crow Creek policy means offenders will face a $1,000 fine and increased jail time in addition to any penalties from applicable federal laws.

    Marlow Medicine Crow Jr., who is on the Crow Creek Tribe Law and Order Committee, told SDPB that the hate crimes amendment is the “first of its kind” for the tribe. “It was a long time coming. There's a lot of things that go on that would necessitate that law and maybe help give more protections to them – the people that are being discriminated against,” Crow Jr. said. The amendment, which passed unanimously on 8 November 2019, will likely take effect next month.

    In September, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, also in South Dakota, became the first to pass a hate crimes law that included protections for LGBTQ citizens.

  • 35. VIRick  |  November 10, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    New Hampshire: State's First Openly Trans City Council Member Elected

    On Tuesday, 5 November 2019, Palana Belken became the first openly transgender person to ever be elected to a city council anywhere in New Hampshire, as the 30-year-old Belken defeated incumbent Sandra Keans, who had been on the Rochester City Council for three decades.

    Belken, who works as a trans justice organizer for the ACLU of New Hampshire, told the local CBS affiliate, WGME, that she had not been dwelling on how her election might make history. Rather, she concentrated on keeping property taxes affordable, helping the city's homeless population, and supporting small businesses. She told the AP that residents also care about substance use disorder, a downtown revitalization plan, and housing affordability.

    Three of the 12 members of the Rochester City Council are now members of the LGBTQ community, reports WGME.

    Belken is one of at least 100 openly LGBTQ candidates who won races on Tuesday as part of the continuing “rainbow wave.” These include Holly Ryan, a trans woman who was elected to the Newton City Council in Massachusetts; Aime Wichtendahl, elected to the Hiawatha City Council in Iowa; and Air Rhodes, a non-binary person elected to the Beacon City Council in New York.

  • 36. VIRick  |  November 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Montenegro: Orthodox Church Baptizes Its First Out Trans Person

    On 3 November 2019, a Montenegrin man named Vuk Adzic became the first out trans person to be baptized by the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, as Adzic was baptized at the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica, Radio Liberty reports.

    Bojana Jokic, board president of one of Montenegro’s leading LGBTQ rights groups, called the baptism an "incredibly progressive step in accepting and confirming the identities of those most vulnerable among us."

    On 28 August, shortly after coming out publicly, Adzic was attacked near his family’s cottage in the town of Matesevo. Three men arrested in connection with the attack are awaiting trial on hate-crime charges, among others.

    In 2013, Montenegro amended its criminal code to ban hate speech on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The country also prohibits discrimination in employment, health care, and education based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

    The Serbian Orthodox Church, which baptized Adzic, is the dominant church in Montenegro. The head of the church there, Amfilohije Radović, has been vocally anti-LGBTQ, and in a statement to RFE/RL, claimed that Adzic’s baptism had a "medical justification,” and that it should not be taken as a sign of "modernism" or "liberalism."

  • 37. VIRick  |  November 10, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Anti-LGBT President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, Resigns

    El Presidente de Bolivia Anti-LGBT, Evo Morales, Dimite

    Acorralados por las protestas en su contra y abandonados por las Fuerzas Armadas, la Policía, e incluso por sus más cercanos colaboradores, el presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, y el vicepresidente, Álvaro García Linera, renunciaron a sus cargos este domingo, el 10 de noviembre 2019. El jefe del Ejército, Williams Kaliman, había pedido horas antes su dimisión: “Después de analizar la situación conflictiva interna, sugerimos al presidente del Estado que renuncie a su mandato presidencial, permitiendo la pacificación y el mantenimiento de la estabilidad por el bien de nuestra Bolivia.” El país sudamericano se enfrenta a un vacío de poder, tras la dimisión de los presidentes de la Cámara de Diputados y del Senado.

    Cornered by the protests against him and abandoned by the Armed Forces, the Police, and even by his closest collaborators, the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and the vice-president, Álvaro García Linera, resigned from office on Sunday, 10 November 2019. The head of the Army, Williams Kaliman, had requested hours before his resignation: “After analyzing the internal conflict situation, we suggested that the president of the State resign his presidential mandate, allowing for the pacification and maintenance of stability for the good of our Bolivia." The South American country faces a power vacuum, following the resignation of the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

    Evo Morales was notoriously anti-LGBT, so his departure will not be missed. He had been attempting to extend his presidential term even further than what the law allows.

  • 38. Chiara Ballon  |  November 10, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I thought the Gender Identity Law had been approved under Evo Morales party? correct me if im wrong

  • 39. allan120102  |  November 10, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    I believe the supreme court struck down the gender identity law in 2017 or 2018

  • 40. VIRick  |  November 10, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    I believe you are both correct. The Gender Identity Law in Bolivia was passed during the Presidency of Evo Morales. The Supreme Court subsequently struck down that portion of it which seemed to allow someone who had changed gender to then marry a person of the same gender as their birth sex. Furthermore, this is this same court ruling which the transgender women of Bolivia have appealed to the CIDH, as any number of them had already married husbands.

    Still, this Gender Identity Law was passed, despite Evo Morales' hyper anti-gay attitude, because transgender Inca women, colorfully dressed in traditional garb, incessantly hounded him at each and every public appearance he ever made, staging noisy, distracting demonstrations whenever he tried to speak. At some point, he relented, separating his anti-gay attitude from his anti-transgender attitude, in effect, passively allowing the measure to become law under the guise of increasing Indigenous rights.

    In an article about "cholas transformistas," of June 2018, I found this quick summary:
    "President Morales enacted a law in May 2016 that allows transsexuals and transgenders to change their identity in the public civil registry system, but, according to the Constitutional Court, this does not entitle them to marry."

  • 41. VIRick  |  November 10, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    At This Moment: Bolivia In Crisis

    Per Raymundo Moreno:

    Tras 14 años de gobierno, Evo Morales renunció a la presidencia de Bolivia. Pidió asilo en México. Abandonó La Paz y se encuentra con los suyos en El Chapare. Dos millones de Bolivianos en las calles. Fueron tomadas las televisoras e incendiada la casa familiar (en Cochabamba) de Evo Morales.

    After 14 years of governing, Evo Morales resigned from the presidency of Bolivia. He requested asylum in Mexico. He abandoned La Paz and met his family in El Chapare. Two million Bolivians are in the streets. Television stations were taken over and Evo Morales's family home (in Cochabamba) was burned down.

    El Chapare is a rural province in the northern region of Cochabamba Department in central Bolivia, situated to the north and west of the Chapare River. It is also known as a "zona cocalera" (coca-growing region).

    Up-date: At least 20 high-ranking members of the executive and legislative branches of Bolivia have sought refuge/asylum at the residence of the Mexican Ambassador to Bolivia in La Paz.

    Also stepping down were Vice President Álvaro García Linera, Chamber of Deputies President Victor Borda, and Senate President Adriana Salvatierra, leaving the country without a constitutional leader. Borda resigned after protesters set his house in the mountain city of Potosí ablaze and kidnapped his brother. It was unclear who will take charge. Under the Bolivian constitution, elections after such a crisis must be held within 90 days.

    There were also reports from La Paz of attacks on the embassy of Venezuela, whose leftist government was a strong ally of Morales.

  • 42. VIRick  |  November 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Puebla: Marriage Equality Bill Re-Introduced to Congress

    Per Rocío García Olmedo:

    El 11 de noviembre 2019, he presentado nuevamente reformas al Código Civil del Estado de Puebla para reconocer no solo el matrimonio igualitario sino también el concubinato entre personas del mismo sexo. Se trata de mantener vigente estas iniciativas y evitar que se sigan violando derechos humanos.

    On 11 November 2019, I have once again presented reforms to the Civil Code of the State of Puebla to recognize not only marriage equality but also cohabitation between persons of the same sex. It is about keeping these initiatives up-to-date and to avoid the following violation of human rights.

  • 43. VIRick  |  November 11, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Durango: LGBTI Manifestation at the State Congress Tomorrow

    Per Ezequiel García Torres:

    Invitación a todos/as compañeros/as LGBTI, familias, papás, mamás, hermanos/as, hijos/as, amigos/as, y heteroaliados/as a que nos acompañen mañana, el 12 de noviembre, 10:30, al Congreso de Durango para pedir a los diputados respuesta sobre resolver ya el tema de matrimonio igualitario.

    Invitation to all LGBTI companions, families, parents, moms, siblings, children, friends, and hetero allies to accompany us tomorrow,12 November, at 10:30, to the Durango Congress to ask the deputies for a response on resolving the issue of marriage equality now.

  • 44. VIRick  |  November 12, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Puerto Rico: Ricky Martin Criticizes Proposed Changes to Civil Code

    Ricky Martin is among those who have sharply criticized proposed amendments to Puerto Rico’s Civil Code that would rescind LGBTQ rights in the US commonwealth.

    Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para Todos, a Puerto Rican LGBTQ advocacy group, told the "Washington Blade" that transgender Puerto Ricans would no longer be able to change the gender marker on their birth certificates if the Puerto Rico Senate approves the proposed amendments. Serrano said another revision under consideration would “open the door to allow churches to discriminate” against LGBTQ Puerto Ricans based on their religious beliefs. Serrano noted that a third amendment would limit abortion rights in Puerto Rico.

    Earlier this year, the Puerto Rico House of Representatives approved the amendments. The Senate is expected to vote on them as early as Wednesday, 13 November 2019. Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, who is president of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, is known for his vocal opposition to LGBTQ rights.

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