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12/10 News update and open thread

Community/Meta Discrimination

– Republicans in Congress are trying to pass a “compromise” LGBT “civil rights” bill.

– The Supreme Court issued a decision in an argued case this morning, but not the Title VII employment discrimination cases. They plan to possibly issue more tomorrow, so we’ll be following to see if that case comes down.

– The Senate has confirmed out gay prosecutor Patrick Bumatay to a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He’s the second out gay person on an appeals court: President Obama nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Todd Hughes to the Federal Circuit in 2013. The Washington Blade has more on LGBT opposition to the Bumatay nomination here.

This is an open thread.


  • 1. VIRick  |  December 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Finland: New Progressive Prime Minister Comes from Same-Sex Family

    La Socialdemócrata, Sanna Marin, de 34 años, representa al ala más progresista del partido SDP y será nombrada Primera Ministra de Finlandia, la más joven del mundo, tras la renuncia de Antti Rinne.

    Feminista convencida y defensora de los derechos de las minorías sexuales, se crió en una familia formada por su madre lesbiana y su pareja décadas antes de que la ley finlandesa reconociera el matrimonio homosexual. "Vengo de una familia con pocos recursos, y yo no hubiera tenido posibilidades de tener éxito y progresar si no tuviéramos un sólido Estado de bienestar y un buen sistema educativo," sostiene.

    The Social Democrat, Sanna Marin, 34, represents the most progressive wing of the SDP and will be appointed Prime Minister of Finland, the youngest in the world, following the resignation of Antti Rinne.

    A convinced feminist and defender of the rights of sexual minorities, she grew up in a family formed by her lesbian mother and her partner decades before Finnish law recognized same-sex marriage. "I come from a family with few resources, and I would not have been able to succeed and progress if we did not have a solid welfare state and a good educational system," she states.

    Finland's New Prime Minister Sanna Marin, 34, Was Raised by Two Moms

    The 34-year-old politician, who currently serves as Finland's minister of transport and communications, will become the youngest prime minister in the country's history when she is sworn in later this week, as well as the world's youngest leader of a nation.

  • 2. VIRick  |  December 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Switzerland: Referendum on Anti-LGBT Hate Speech/Discrimination in Public Accommodations

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In late 2018, the Swiss parliament made homophobia a criminal offense by extending the scope of the Criminal Code to include sexual orientation. Previously, the Code banned hate speech or discrimination against a person or group of persons on the basis of their racial, ethnic, or religious affiliation.

    Following a signature-gathering campaign by opponents of this modification, Swiss voters are set to have the final say on the issue in a referendum. The referendum has now been set to take place on 9 February 2020.

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 10, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    US Senate Confirms Patrick Bumatay to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

    In a counter-intuitive development, on Tuesday, 10 December 201, the US Senate approved an openly gay federal prosecutor for a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, making him the highest-ranking openly gay federal judge in the country.

    The Republican-majority chamber approved Patrick Bumatay, who previously worked as a US attorney in Southern California, to a lifetime seat on the federal appeals court. The vote was 53-40.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  December 11, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Patrick Bumatay – Who Is He?

    Patrick Bumatay is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from California. Currently, he is a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California in San Diego — a position he has held since 2012. Earlier this year, President Trump nominated Bumatay to be a district judge in the Southern District of California.

    He graduated from Harvard Law School in 2006, where he was articles editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy — a leading law journal for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship. Following law school, Bumatay clerked for the Honorable Timothy Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

    After clerking, Bumatay joined Department of Justice as a political appointee — first in the Office of Legal Policy, where he worked on the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts, associate Justice Samuel Alito, and former attorney general Michael Mukasey — and later in the Office of the Associate Attorney General, where he assisted in the oversight of criminal and civil matters in the Antitrust, Tax, Civil, Civil Rights, and Environmental & Natural Resources Divisions.

    In 2017, Bumatay was detailed to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, where he worked on national opioid strategy and prison and reentry policies. In 2018, he moved to the Office of the Attorney General, advising the attorney general on criminal matters, national opioid strategy, transnational organized crime, and prison and reentry policies. In that role, Bumatay assisted in the management of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives, and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. He also supported the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Bumatay returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego earlier this year.

    Bumatay has been an active member of The Federalist Society since law school. He is also a member of the Federal Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association. He is the author of “Causes, Commitments & Counsels,” published in the Journal of the Legal Profession in 2007.

    Shorter answer: Patrick "Log Cabin" Bumatay is a quisling.

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Virginia: Falls Church City Council Approves LGBT Rights Ordinance

    On Monday, 9 December 2019, in Virginia, the Falls Church Council voted 6-0 to approve an amendment to the suburban Washington jurisdiction’s non-discrimination ordinance, adding new language banning discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    The newly-revised ordinance, which takes effect 10 days after its approval, adds LGBT people to two existing ordinances by changing the definition of “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. “As used herein, discrimination on the basis of ‘sex’ shall be defined to include discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status,” the ordinance declares.

  • 6. Randolph_Finder  |  December 12, 2019 at 6:35 am

    As a general comment on this.
    1) This is an independent city (which means it isn't part of a county)
    2) Falls Church is more or less where the westernmost point of the District of Columbia was before congress gave the Virginia part of the district back to Virginia
    3) The state legislatures shifted to Democratic party control at the last election, so the odd wording may not be necessary by this time next year.

  • 7. VIRick  |  December 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Argentina: Another Provincial Small Town Equal Marriage First

    Mañana, este viernes, el 13 de diciembre 2019, a las 11 horas, se llevará a cabo el primer casamiento gay en el registro civil de la ciudad de Chepes. Franco (21) y Agustín (28) son los dos jóvenes que se unirán en el matrimonio igualitario en Chepes en el departamento Rosario Vera Peñaloza, provincia de La Rioja. La pareja adelantó que, en un futuro, buscarán adoptar un bebé.

    Tomorrow, Friday, 13 December 2019, at 11 AM, the first gay marriage will take place at the civil registry of the city of Chepes. Franco (21) and Agustín (28) are the two young men who will join in an equal marriage in Chepes in the department of Rosario Vera Peñaloza, province of La Rioja. The couple said that in the future, they will seek to adopt a baby.

    Chepes is a small city of 11,000 in southern La Rioja province in northwestern Argentina. It straddles the main road connecting the major cities of San Juan and Córdoba.

  • 8. Fortguy  |  December 12, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    UK Election: Boris Johnson's Tories win outright majority. It's also a good night for Scottish Nationalists. Having a terrible night are Jeremy Corbin who has announced that he will not lead Labour in the next election, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson who lost her seat, and the DUP leader in Westminster, Nigel Dodds, who also lost his seat.

    BBC election coverage:

  • 9. VIRick  |  December 12, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Colombia: Same-Sex Marriage-of-the-Year; Mayor-Elect of Bogotá to Marry Senator

    Per La Revista Semana‏:

    La alcaldesa electa de Bogotá, Claudia López, y la Senadora Angélica Lozano C se casarán el próximo lunes, el 16 de diciembre 2019, en Bogotá.

    The mayor-elect of Bogotá, Claudia López, and Senator Angélica Lozano C will be married next Monday, 16 December 2019, in Bogotá.

  • 10. VIRick  |  December 12, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    American Samoa: Utah Federal Judge Declares American Samoans US Citizens by Birth

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 12 December 2019, a US Federal judge in Utah rules that American Samoans are US citizens by birth. This may eventually mean that the "Obergfell" decision on marriage equality will apply to the territory.

    Federal Judge Rules American Samoans Are US Citizens by Birth

    "This court is not imposing 'citizenship by judicial fiat.' The action is required by the mandate of the Fourteenth Amendment as construed and applied by Supreme Court precedent," wrote Judge Clark Waddoups in the US District Court for the District of Utah. "Further, Plaintiffs are American Samoans. They brought this action seeking to realize their rights to citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment, and should be issued new passports reflecting that," he added.

    Note: As a resident of another US territory, I am elated with this unexpected, yet very welcome decision.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  December 12, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    Although I agree with the decision, this will be appealed.

  • 12. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 13, 2019 at 6:18 am

    There is a whole cultural issue here that can't be easily understood by those who are not part of the Samoans history. NPR had a one hour special about both sides of this issue.

    This lawsuit is the second such attempt within the past decade. The first, filed in 2012, was ultimately unsuccessful, with the Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that the 14th Amendment does not apply to overseas territories. The court decided not to reconsider that ruling when it was brought up again in 2016.

    The government of American Samoa and many of the island’s residents didn’t support the first lawsuit, because of widespread fear that it would threaten fa’asamoa, the Samoan way of life. NPR reports that fa’asamoa is built on a system that supports extended families as social structures and communally held lands run by chiefs. A change in the political structure of American Samoa could alter how that works.

    “Once the system of land ownership is put in jeopardy, the whole fibre, the whole pattern of the Samoan way of life will be forever destroyed,” Sean Morrison, former president of the American Samoa Bar Association, wrote for the Hastings Constitutional Law review.

    The unfortunate situation is that by not being citizens Samoans do not get the benefit of SCOTUS rulings–be they good or be they bad. As we know, LGBT Samoans do not benefit from the Obergefell marriage equality ruling.

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    If one is discussing culture and language, then greater Samoa, let alone the specific entity of American Samoa, can not be taken in isolation, as the same culture and language is widely distributed throughout much of the Pacific, spread there by the very Polynesian people themselves, with greater Samoa itself being at the "heart," as one of the major embarkation points for further exploration/settlement farther east. Ditto for the Cook Islands. Subsequently, Polynesia has been much chopped up into multiple jurisdictions, without regard to either culture or language by European colonization efforts, particularly by those who were quite keen on imparting their version of Christianity and prudishness upon the residents, basic points which have permanently altered the very basis of Polynesian culture (including Samoan) forever. Polynesia, as a singular cultural/linguistic region, includes all of the following, from Australia to Chile and from New Zealand to Hawai'i, and spilling over, in a reverse direction, into Melanesia:

    Aotearoa (now New Zealand)
    Norfolk Island (Australian territory)
    Tonga (ex-British), ind
    Fiji (Rotuma) (ex-British), ind
    Samoa (Western Samoa, ex-New Zealand), ind
    American Samoa (USA)
    Tuvalu (Ellice Islands, ex-British), ind
    Tokelau (New Zealand)
    Wallis et Futuna (France)
    Niue (New Zealand)
    Cook Islands (New Zealand)
    Polynésie Française (France)
    Pitcairn (British territory)
    Rapa Nui (Isla de Pascua) (Chile)
    Hawai'i (USA)

    Note: Native Fijians are mixed-race Polynesian/Melanesian with a predominating Polynesian culture, except for Rotuma, which is purely Polynesian.

    Note: Norfolk Islanders, relocated from Pitcairn, are mixed-race Polynesian/European, with a predominating Polynesian culture.

    Traditional Polynesian culture also exists on certain islands within these jurisdictions of Melanesia:

    Solomon Islands (Ontong Java, Sikaiana, Pileni, Rennell, Bellona, Anuta, Tikopia)
    Vanuatu (Emae, Mele, Futuna-Aniwa)
    Nouvelle-Calédonie (Ouvéa)
    Papua New Guinea (Nuguria, Nukumanu, Takuu)
    Australia (Torres Strait Islanders)

    Federated States of Micronesia (Kapingamarangi, Nukuoro)

    One of my favorite examples of traditional Polynesian culture, still quite evident in the Cook Islands and New Zealand (and in "secret" in Hawai'i), but now missing almost everywhere else, including Samoa, are the tiki gods of fertility, sporting huge, erect circumcised penises. Such adorable carved wooden objects are particularly noticeable mounted around the outside fence walls of the marae (Maori communal meeting halls) in New Zealand, where one is supposed to reach up and rub the shiny, exposed penis heads for good luck.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  December 13, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    PDF of the decision in this case:

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 13, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Needless to say, I completely disagree with the isolationist notion that Polynesian culture (or any specific variant of it, like Samoan) will vanish if not kept separate. And New Zealand is the best example. Auckland is not only the largest of all Polynesian cities, but is also the largest city in New Zealand. Besides the native Polynesian Maori, there are Pacific Islanders from everywhere living there. For example, there are well over 60,000 Cook Island Maori in the Auckland area, whereas only about 18,000 remain at home, back in the Cook Islands (meaning that over 75% of Cook Islanders live in New Zealand). As a result, most Polynesians are adaptively modern, educated, urban and urbane, although there are also pockets of very traditional Maori, especially in the northern part of North Island, around the sacred geysers of Rotorua, and along the west coast of South Island.

    New Zealand, of course, has marriage equality, as do all of the French overseas territories within Polynesia, as well as Hawai'i and Australia. Thus, the bulk of the widely-distributed Polynesian population live in a progressive jurisdiction on this subject, many by choice. Specifically, over the years, American Samoans have migrated en masse to Hawai'i, much like the Western Samoans and Cook Islanders moving to the Auckland area.

    In fact, people are fleeing the utter isolation of the tiniest of islands. In the Cook Islands, two are submerged, three more have 0 population, and three others have under 100 people each. Seven more have under 500 people each. Only two, Aitutaki, with 2,000, and Rarotonga, with 13,000, have self-sustaining populations.

    Tonga is home to some 106,000 people, but more than double that number live overseas, mainly in the US, New Zealand, and Australia. Of those still living in Tonga, over 70% (75,000) live on the main island of Tongatapu.

    One of the steepest de-populations has occurred in Niue, where 90-95% of Niueans (over 20,000) have re-located to New Zealand, leaving only 1600 people behind on the island itself.

  • 16. VIRick  |  December 13, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    When discussing a topic such as traditional land ownership in Polynesia (and Samoa), one must remember that that society is matrilineal, mother to daughter. This means that women own and control everything on dry land, be it housing or the taro grounds. At best, men build out-riggers and go fishing,– or head out to sea and never return.

    Unabashed nudity was the rule and sexuality was extremely fluid, and in the most traditional locales, both still are. For example, see Gauguin:

    In addition, we must also remember the Fa'afafine (literally, "in the manner of women"), biological males who identify themselves as having a third-gender or non-binary role in Samoa, American Samoa, and the Samoan diaspora. There are an estimated 500 fa'afafine in Samoa and an equal number in the Samoan diaspora in New Zealand.

    This same word, and its identical role, can also be found in the Tongan fakaleiti (also fakafefine), the Cook Islands Māori akava'ine, the Hawaiian and Tahitian māhū (literally in the middle), the Māori whakawāhine, the Niuean fiafifine (also fakafifine), the Tokelauan fakafāfine, the Tuvaluan pinapinaaine, the Gilbertese binabinaaine, and the Wallisian fakafafine.'afafine

    Note: In New Zealand Maori, the "f" sound is represented by the letters "wh," while all the way across the Pacific to Hawai'i, one should still be able to recognize "wahine" as meaning "woman" ("vahine" in Tahiti). In this post, Samoa refers to the ex-New Zealand territory of Western Samoa, about 50% of whom (or about 200,000 people) live in New Zealand. After New Zealand Maori, Samoans are the second-most numerous group of Polynesians.

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  December 14, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Having now read the entire ruling, it is very well-written and unlikely to be overturned. It also has the effect of giving US citizenship to persons born in US territories, which would likely include VIRick. If so, I would strongly recommend that VIRick immediately apply for a new US passport which does not contain Endorsement Code 09 (stating that the passport holder is a US national but is not a US citizen).

  • 18. VIRick  |  December 14, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Ian, this argument, US Citizen by birth v. US National, currently is only applicable to those born in American Samoa (but retrospectively, may also apply to certain others born in the Northern Marianas prior to the date listed below).

    The US Congress, in a piecemeal fashion, has extended birthright US citizenship to those born in all the other US territories,– to Puerto Rico in 1917 (to those born there since 1899), to the US Virgin Islands in 1927 (to those born there since 1917), to Guam in late 1952 (to those born there since 1899), and to the Northern Marianas in 1986 (to those born there from 1978, and to certain others born there even earlier).

    Persons born in Guam on or after 24 December 1952 acquire US citizenship at birth. Guam is listed as part of the geographical definition of the "United States" in section 101 (a)(38) Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

    On the other hand, the following provision was unexpected, but apparently is still valid:
    Persons born in the Canal Zone or the Republic of Panama on or after 26 February 1904, and until 1 October 1979, acquire US citizenship at birth.

    In separate legislation, the US Congress has never bothered to extend this same birthright citizenship to those born in American Samoa (and is the crux of the issue as to why the "Obergefell" decision was not automatically extended to apply to American Samoa, but was applicable to the other US territories). Although the USA also acquired both Cuba and the Philippines for certain intervals of time, the US Congress also never bothered to extend US birthright citizenship to either.

    In addition, I was not born here, let alone born here prior to 1917. In the sense that you are directing, I have always had an unendorsed US Passport, usually issued in Miami. On the other hand, for years, I have also carried endorsed (with very different wording) US Diplomatic Passports.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  December 14, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Then perhaps we should call you "State Department Rick"?

    Interestingly, the distance from Inarajan, Guam to Grand Isle, Maine is about 14,900 kilometers, which means that the diameter of the territory of the United States substantially exceeds the diameter of the Earth (with a polar diameter of about 12,700 kilometers and an equatorial diameter of about 12,756 kilometers)! The circumference of the Earth is slightly over 40,000 kilometers, though; USA's diameter is "only" 3/8 of that, but that's also fully 75% of the circumference of Earth's hemisphere!

  • 20. VIRick  |  December 15, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Ian, try these alternate measurements, as that spot in Maine may indeed be the most northeasterly point in the USA. However, Puerto Rico/US Virgin Islands are an entire time zone further east of New England, as we are on Atlantic Standard Time, the same time zone as the Canadian Maritimes, placing us due south of Halifax NS.

    Locally, the eastern-most tip of St. Croix is widely touted in tourism-related material as being both the most easterly and most southeasterly point in the USA. In addition, in a political sense, I have often heard it said that Guam and the US Virgin Islands, the two most-distant points of the USA, are the only two US Territories with absolutely identical political status.

    I will grant you the fact that Inarajan, Guam, is the most westerly and most southwesterly point in the USA. But what about the most northwesterly? Would that be the northernmost point of the northernmost island in the Northern Marianas? And might that distance be even further from the eastern tip of St. Croix? And what about Alaska? They obviously win as having the northernmost point in the USA, while the southernmost point in the USA is somewhere in American Samoa, the only area of the USA south of the equator. But could Alaska also have the most northwesterly point, possibly somewhere in the Aleutian Islands, and likely at the far western tip, rather than it being the most northerly point of the Northern Marianas? And could that be even further from St. Croix than either Guam or the Northern Marianas?

  • 21. Fortguy  |  December 15, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    The uninhabited Jarvis Island is also south of the equator by about 25 miles, but not as far south as American Samoa.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  December 15, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Rick, Point Barrow (Alaska) is the northernmost point in USA. Whether the most northwesterly point is in Alaska or in the Northern Marianas depends greatly upon one's preference between north and west.

    The US has a remarkably irregular shape,but certainly we can all agree that it is a ginormous country with the largest "footprint" of any country on Earth! The next largest country on Earth is Russia, with the distance from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok being just under 10,000 kilometers.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  December 13, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Gabon Becomes The 70th Country Currently Outlawing Gay Sex

    Gabon is located in west central Africa. Its prohibition of gay sex was enacted several months ago and is just now beginning to receive press coverage.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  December 14, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Hallmark Channel pulls ads of lesbian couple kissing after complaints from conservative moms group that they went against the network's 'family friendly' programming

    The Hallmark Channel has pulled ads featuring a lesbian coupe kissing at the altar on their wedding day after pressure from a conservative group.

    The Zola wedding registry company commercial, which features two women getting married to each other, showed the sweet moment the brides shared a kiss after saying their 'I do's' in front of their family and friends.

    But Christian-right One Million Moms group claimed the commercial was not 'family friendly' and condemned the channel for featuring the 'sinful lifestyle' in its advertising. The group even started a petition and threatened a boycott unless Hallmark pulled the ads.

    Now Hallmark's parent company, Crown Media, appears to have sided with the right-wing group.

  • 25. bayareajohn  |  December 14, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    So… since Trump is not family-friendly (separations) and quite clearly leads a sinful lifestyle (prostitutes/extramarital affairs, grabbing them by the…), we should petition to have his ads removed too.

  • 26. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 15, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Thank you for the info. I'll be sure to not "send the very best."

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  December 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Hallmark Apologizes After Pulling Ads Featuring Brides Kissing

    “Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives,” he said. “Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”

    Hallmark said in the statement that it would work with GLAAD, a national L.G.B.T.Q. media advocacy organization, “to better represent the L.G.B.T.Q. community across our portfolio of brands,” and that it planned on contacting Zola to “re-establish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”

    Zola, a wedding website service, had a series of six commercials for the Hallmark Channel. First appearing on TV on Dec. 2, most of the ads feature a same-sex female couple along with heterosexual couples. One of the six ads focuses on only the lesbian couple. The channel pulled four of the ads after a targeted campaign by a conservative group.

    “We were deeply troubled when Hallmark rejected our commercials for featuring a lesbian couple celebrating their marriage, and are relieved to see that decision was reversed,” Mike Chi, the chief marketing officer of Zola, said on Sunday night. “We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola, but for all the L.G.B.T.Q. couples and families who express their love on their wedding day, and every day.”

    Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and chief executive of GLAAD, said: “The Hallmark Channel’s decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to L.G.B.T.Q. people and represents a major loss for fringe organizations, like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine. L.G.B.T.Q. people are, and will continue to be, a part of advertisements and family programming, and that will never change.”

    Hallmark said it “is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion — both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create,” and noted that the company had L.G.B.T.Q. greeting cards and had featured L.G.B.T.Q. couples in commercials.

    “We have been a progressive pioneer on television for decades — telling wide ranging stories that elevate the human spirit,” the company said.

    Hallmark pulled the commercials on Thursday. Soon thereafter, the online backlash began.

    By Sunday, the hashtags #boycotthallmark and #BoycottHallmarkChannel were trending on Twitter, with thousands of posts mostly from users identifying themselves as L.G.B.T.Q. families, allies and Hallmark viewers.

  • 28. ianbirmingham  |  December 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Hallmark Channel reverses decision to pull ads featuring same-sex couples

    The Hallmark Channel is reversing its decision to pull advertisements featuring same-sex couples and apologizing for removing them in the first place, a network spokeswoman told CNN Business.

    "@Hallmarkchannel has bowed to anti-family activists who seek to erase our community," LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign said on Twitter. "For a channel whose brand is love, Hallmark is leading with fear and discrimination."

    Many called on viewers to stop watching the Hallmark Channel, which is in the thick of holiday movie season. Some other TV and streaming brands even jumped into the conversation on Twitter to let viewers know they have other options.

    Freeform, a cable channel owned by Disney (DIS), tweeted, "This is what happens when you focus all your energy on exclusion instead of clever plotlines. Call us, @Zola. We celebrate the holidays with everyone."

    Netflix (NFLX) also tweeted a not-so-subtle comment on the controversy, listing a few titles in its library that feature, "Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It's Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love."

  • 29. VIRick  |  December 15, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Japan: Court Rules in Favor of Transgender Woman's Bathroom Use and against Required Surgery

    In Japan, a transgender woman employed by the Economy, Trade, and Industry Ministry has successfully sued her employer for denying her the right to use the bathroom that aligns with her gender identity.

    A Tokyo district court awarded ¥1.32 million in damages to the woman for being forced to use a bathroom other than the women’s bathroom on her office’s floor, which District Judge Kenji Ebara says is illegal because it “constrains people’s benefits of living their lives in accordance with their self-identified genders.” The ruling also requires that the ministry, and all employers, allow trans people to use the bathroom of their choice, without notifying anyone else of their transgender identity.

    Ebara also made it illegal in his ruling for employers to require surgery from their employees in order to recognize their gender. This was in response to the fact that the Ministry official in charge of personnel told the woman that she should “go back” to being a man if she was not going to have reassignment surgery. Ebara made it known that he found it “unacceptable” and “extremely lacking in validity,” and that it was also an “abuse of discretion” to have the employee identify herself when using the bathroom with others inside.

    Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Japan had ruled that all people having gender reassignment must be sterilized prior to surgery, in addition to being unmarried, and having no children under the age of 20. Until now, surgically transitioning was the only way to have one's gender legally changed.

  • 30. bayareajohn  |  December 15, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    ¥1.32 million = about $11,000 US

  • 31. VIRick  |  December 15, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Turkey: Strident Latin-Style Women's Rights Marches Have Burst Upon the Scene

    In an extraordinary cultural and geographic leap, the co-ordinated, choreographed Latin-style of women's rights massed protest marches, which were recently initiated in Chile, and which then rapidly went nationwide, from Arica to Punta Arenas, after which the phenomenon then quickly exploded, with the same type of syncopated, strident protest marches throughout all of Spanish-speaking Latin America and on into the western European capitals with large Latin populations, have now burst upon Turkey with the same stridency:

    Per Louis Fishman:

    Today, 15 December 2019, following yesterday’s protest in the Turkish parliament by opposition women MPs protesting against the violent breakup of Las Tesis women's rights marches in Istanbul and the nation’s capital of Ankara, women took to the streets in Izmir in a massive protest,– and this time, the police stood aside.

    Watching the video, the rhythm of the chanting seems to have the same fast pace, and the various choreographed moves appear to be the same. However, the co-ordinating whistles are a new, added feature. Because of the echo between the buildings, I can not tell which language is being utilized, let alone whether there was any rhyming pattern, like in the original Spanish, where each line of the extended chant rhymed. Also, I have no idea how difficult a rhymed Turkish translation would be to concoct.

    Like much of Latin America, Turkey would certainly be a country where LGBT rights are mixed in between with women's rights, and where both need to combine to work together in a unified movement, something initially learned from Costa Rica.

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