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12/16 open thread UPDATED


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

UPDATE 12/18: Via Equality Case Files, a federal district court has ordered the Trump administration to turn over documents related to its ban on military servicemembers who are transgender.


  • 1. VIRick  |  December 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Canada: Justin Trudeau Calls for Nationwide Ban on "Conversion Therapy"

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a ban on so-called "conversion therapy" in Canada. On 13 December 2019, in a letter sent to Attorney-General David Lametti, Trudeau directed that he work with Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger to amend Canada’s Criminal Code “to ban the practice of conversion therapy and take other steps required with the provinces and territories to end conversion therapy in Canada.”….

  • 2. VIRick  |  December 16, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Tennessee: Dolly Parton Statue to Replace Confederate Memorial in State Capitol Building

    The Tennessee state capitol building in Nashville has honored former Klu Klux Klan leader and former Confederate soldier Nathan Bedford Forrest for decades. As legislators search for a potential replacement for his memorial, they’ve hit upon a candidate: country music legend Dolly Parton.

    The popular singer is known for steering clear of politics and for bringing her sassy brand of cheerful love for all. Parton is also a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights.

    The statue to Forrest has been a flashpoint for years and has been soundly mocked and criticized nationwide for being a memorial to a blatant racist. Support for removing the statue was bipartisan.….

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Case Now Before the Constitutional Court

    Per Fundación Iguales‏:

    Mañana, el 17 de diciembre 2019 a las 1330, en el Tribunal Constitucional se votará a la admisibilidad de una demanda relacionada a derechos filiativos y matrimonio igualitario. Dos madres, casadas en España, demandan a Registro Civil por la inscripción de su matrimonio y su hijo.

    Tomorrow, 17 December 2019 at 1:30 PM, the Constitutional Court will vote on the admissibility of a claim related to filiation rights and marriage equality. Two women, married in Spain, have sued the Civil Registry for the registration of their marriage and their son.

    For reference, this is case No. 7774-19, a direct challenge presented as an "Action of Unconstitutionality" ("Inaplicabilidad por Inconstitucionalidad") against the last sub-section of Article 12 of Law No. 20.830 and the first sub-section of Article 80 of Law No. 19.947, and was filed by Cecelia Vera Pérez-Gacitúa and Cristina Ibars Mayor. The first portion of this two-part challenge is against some wording in the law creating the AUCs (civil unions), likely relating to their second-class separateness, while the second portion is against this marriage definition wording: "siempre que se trate de la unión de un hombre y una mujer" (always being treated as the union of a man and a woman), as found in the New Law of Civil Marriage.

    I have now come to the conclusion that this is how we are going to win marriage equality in Chile, as the legislative process, once quite promising, has basically ground to a halt. Instead, it will now be upon the Constitutional Court to issue a favorable marriage recognition ruling, and quite possibly, that it will do so in this specific case, No. 7774-19. And unlike the Constitutional Courts in many other Latin nations, like Perú, Panamá, and Venezuela, which can drag out pending cases for years and years, the Constitutional Court in Chile is far more diligent in doing its job, and thus, can be relied upon to issue its ruling in a far more timely manner.

    This matter is also the last hope that Chile will jump ahead of Switzerland and actually win the snail-paced "race" between the two.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  December 16, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Cambodia to teach LGBT+ issues in schools to tackle discrimination

    Children in Cambodia will receive lessons on LGBT+ issues from 2020 in a bid to wipe out bullying and discrimination in the socially conservative country, an official said on Tuesday (Dec 10).

    From grade seven, around age 13, modules covering sexual orientation and gender identity will be part of sex education in schools, said Mr Yung Kunthearith, deputy director of the education ministry's department of health studies.

    "It's about equality," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "We want our children to be aware of these issues and know that no one should be discriminated against in school or any part of life."

    Cambodia has no legislation that deals specifically with LGBT+ people. Same sex marriages are neither criminalised nor officially recognised by the state.

    While acceptance of LGBT+ people in Cambodia is increasing, one in three report harassment in the workplace, according to research released this week by the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, a non-government organisation.

    Some are still forced by parents into unwanted marriages or so-called conversion therapy with traditional healers, which aims to make them straight or not transgender, campaigners say.

    The new classes would help "cultivate a rights-based mindset so children can exercise their agency to transform discriminatory norms," said Mr Ryan Silverio, regional coordinator for the Asean SOGIE Caucus, an advocacy group.

    The move puts Cambodia at the forefront of LGBT+ education in South-east Asia, with neighbouring Thailand the only other nation known to have included such issues in mainstream teaching, he added.

    So far, 3,100 Cambodian teachers have been trained to deliver the new material, according to Mr Srun Srorn, an LGBT+ activist who developed the modules with the Education Ministry.

    He said that while there was some resistance among "very homophobic" teachers, the program had generally been received with "enthusiasm" and at least five teachers had come out during the training.

    "This is a win for us already," he said, adding that bullying and discrimination was rife among students and teachers.

    "We have to start now. In 10, 20 years' time, the students of today will be business owners, they will be governors … then we will have change."

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 17, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Nicaragua/El Salvador: Two Gay Asylum Seekers Marry at Casa Ruby in DC

    In 2018, asylum seekers Alexander Flores Olivas and Felipe Aguilar fled their respective home countries of Nicaragua and El Salvador because of homophobic violence from family and neighbors.

    The couple eventually met in Mexico and joined a migrant caravan that reached the US border in early 2019. On 6 December, Flores and Aguilar married at Casa Ruby in DC.

    Casa Ruby, named after its founder, Ruby Corado, is a bilingual Spanish/English non-profit LGBTQ organization in DC run and led by transgender women of color, who also operate a shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth. Casa Ruby is located at 7530 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20012. Emergency hotline 202-355-5155.

  • 6. VIRick  |  December 17, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    US Virgin Islands Is Ready to Take Down Trump

    Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), a delegate to Congress representing the US Virgin Islands, penned a letter earlier this month asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to appoint her as one of the House managers in the Senate’s impeachment trial of Trump. The letter, obtained by "BuzzFeed News," offers a rare glimpse at the raw ambition members seldom exhibit in public when lobbying the Speaker of the House.

    In her note to Pelosi, Plaskett laid out a case that her representation in the yet-to-be-decided group of members presenting the case against Trump at a Senate trial would be especially notable to her constituents as US citizens who do not have full voting rights. House Democrats are expected to have the votes to impeach Trump, making him the third president to be impeached in US history.

    “Considering the fact that Virgin Islanders, who are indeed Americans and enlist in our military in higher numbers than any state in the union, and at the same time, we cannot vote for the president of the United States, this would be a great opportunity for me to represent my constituents,” Plaskett said. “Appointing me one of the House Managers will indeed let the residents of the Territories and the District of Columbia know that they do indeed have a voice in the process. Not only was I a prosecutor, you know I worked at the Department of Justice. I headed up the litigation against the tobacco companies and so I feel like I’m able to go up against whomever, along with the fact that I worked in a Republican Administration at the Department of Justice."

    Plaskett pointed out that she was one of two black women in Congress who had prior experience as a prosecutor. The other is Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who, a source familiar with the matter said, was not interested in the role.

    Note: There is some contention as to whether the US Virgin Islands or American Samoa has the highest enlistment rate in the US military. Here, locally, the claim is always made that the US Virgin Islands is #1. However, only a few days ago, when preparing a post on American Samoa which appeared in the previous thread in reference to the entire citizenship issue, I read the same claim regarding American Samoa, and the irony that, as US nationals rather than as US citizens, they still had the #1 enlistment rate. Of course, both territories have higher rates of enlistment than any US state.

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  December 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Four million. That's how many Americans the US Census Bureau estimates live on five island territories of the United States.

    Millions of them are of voting age. Many are veterans or active military. But they cannot vote to elect their commander in chief.

    People born in Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico are all Americans. But Americans born in these territories can't vote for president. Not unless they move to the mainland.

    "The Electoral College system does not provide for residents of U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands) to vote for President. Unless citizens in U.S. Territories have official residency (domicile) in a U.S. State or the District of Columbia (and vote by absentee ballot or travel to their State to vote), they cannot vote in the presidential election. Note that prior to the adoption of the 23rd Amendment, DC residents could not vote in the Presidential election. The political parties may authorize voters in primary elections in Territories to select delegates to represent them at the political party conventions. But that process does not affect the Electoral College system."

    These rules are why pollsters and news outlets have been carefully watching a mass movement of Puerto Ricans to the US mainland in recent years. Once they establish residency in a state, these US citizens can vote in the presidential election — and potentially affect the outcome.

    [Voting rights advocate and lawyer Neil] Weare, who heads the We The People advocacy group, doesn't think US citizens should have to relocate in order to vote for their president. His DC-based group is involved in lawsuits to grant voting rights to Americans in territories — to do for them what the 23rd Amendment did for natives of Washington, DC in 1961.

    "The US has had territories since day one," he says, "but they've always gone on to become states. It's only with the acquisition [of] the overseas territories that we can keep these places but never really have them be part of the political community."

    Weare thinks the current voting laws are especially unfair in Guam and American Samoa, given their high military enrollment. In 2014, the Army said American Samoa was the United States' No. 1 military recruitment post.

    "Someone who's denied full participation in American democracy," Weare says, "for these people who've served to defend the American Constitution, it's a real insult to them as Americans."

  • 8. VIRick  |  December 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Texas: Transgender Plaintiff Asks 5th Circuit to Review Trump Appointee's Refusal to Recuse

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Valerie Jackson, a transgender woman who was allegedly forced to reveal her genitalia to employees at the Dallas County jail in 2016 when she was booked into pre-trial custody, is suing Dallas County, former Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez, and several other Texas officials in federal court in Dallas for violating her constitutional rights (2019 WL 5079897). In September 2019, her case was reassigned to the newly-installed US District Judge Brantley Starr. Jackson’s lawyers immediately moved (2019 WL 5079901) for Judge Starr to recuse himself.

    In November, Judge Starr refused to recuse and on Friday, 13 December 2019, Jackson filed a mandamus petition with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the appeals court to review Judge Starr's decision.

    From the article linked below: "It’s worth paying attention to the proceeding for what it might portend about civil rights litigation in the wake of judicial appointments by Trump. Judge Starr’s nomination was opposed by such civil rights groups as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Alliance for Justice – but he’s hardly the only recent nominee to have faced accusations of bias in the Senate confirmation process. Will recusal motions become routine when these judges are appointed to oversee civil rights cases – followed by mandamus petitions when those motions are denied?"

  • 9. Fortguy  |  December 17, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    This is an example why many of the state's LGBT groups supported Valdez's more conservative opponent, Andrew White, in last year's Democratic primary for governor despite Valdez being an out lesbian and White being a straight guy.

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  December 17, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Most Central and Eastern Europeans oppose same-sex marriage, while most Western Europeans favor it

    Click on these links to view polling results by country



  • 11. Fortguy  |  December 17, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    A couple of weeks ago, Rick posted about a JP in McLennan County, Texas who was rebuked by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct for refusing to marry same-sex couples while willingly marrying straight couples. There have been developments in the matter since then.

    First, the commission ended up only giving a warning to the JP, Dianne Hensley, after Gov. Greg Abbott axed a couple of the commission members from the list of appointees submitted for Senate confirmation effectively kicking them off the commission. Apparently, Abbott felt compelled to do this lest anyone on the Religious Right call into question his straightness or something.

    Emma Platoff, The Texas Tribune: Appointees claim Gov. Greg Abbott ousted them from board for voting to sanction judge who refused to perform same-sex marriages

    Hensley is now suing the commission presumably because doing her job in a secular government post where she is required to treat all citizens equally would endanger her salvation and keep her from going to Straight Heaven where the faithful spend the rest of eternity being blissfully straight all the time. She is being represented by the First Liberty Institute, a Plano law firm that specializes in representing the interests of bigot churches. The firm is closely tied to state AG Ken Paxton who is no more concerned about his own eternal salvation nor his own history of ethical lapses than he is any whiff that the far right might think he is anything less than militantly straight. Don't expect Paxton to do his job and represent the state commission in the lawsuit.

    Emma Platoff, The Texas Tribune: Waco judge sues state agency after receiving public warning for refusing to officiate same-sex marriages

    As a geography note, McLennan County is about halfway between Austin and Dallas. The county seat is Jerusalem-on-the-Brazos, occasionally referred to as Waco, which is best known for Baylor University, a Baptist school with a reputation based more on winning athletic programs tainted by rape scandals than any hint of academic excellence. It is also where David Koresh and his Branch Davidian faithful ascended into heaven in a fireball. McLennan County is also home to other communities such as Crawford where W. bought a pig farm and calls it his ranch, and West where a 2013 fertilizer warehouse explosion killed 15 and injured about 200 while wiping out much of the town. On a positive note, West is a great place to stop along I-35. The town was originally settled by Czech immigrants, and the local bakeries serve up kolaches and other tasty goodies of Central European tradition.

  • 12. VIRick  |  December 17, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Great Britain: First Out Gay Muslim MP Elected to Parliament

    Imran Ahmad-Khan made history when he was elected as MP for Wakefield in Yorkshire on Friday,13 December 2019, having beaten the incumbent MP by 3,358 votes. His election marks the first time that the constituency has voted for a Conservative politician since 1931.

    The gay Muslim MP is now among 24 Tories who identify as LGBT, the most of any party. Labour has 18 and the SNP has 10. LGBT people now constitute 8 per cent of the 650 MPs, a record for the UK.

    Khan is also the first Ahmadi ever to be elected to the British Parliament, as he belongs to the community of Ahmadiyya Muslims, a messianic movement originating in the Punjab.

  • 13. allan120102  |  December 18, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    I am not sure if he is gay. it looks like there was confusion so I am not sure if the issue was that he was not gay or that he was not out to the world

  • 14. VIRick  |  December 19, 2019 at 8:10 am

    So, regarding Imran Ahmad-Khan, the first and third paragraphs are still correct. However, as a completely separate thought, the second paragraph should read:

    There are now 23 Tories who identify as LGBT, the most of any party. Labour has 18 and the SNP has 10. LGBT people now constitute 7.8 per cent of the 650 MPs.

    Note to self: Stop quoting Pink News. Period.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  December 18, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Germany to ban 'conversion therapy' for minors

    Germany will also outlaw conversion therapy for adults with diminished decisionmaking abilities and bar advertisements for the services: “The government’s goal is to protect people’s right to sexual self-determination.”

    A German government Facebook post, titled “Homosexuality is not an illness,” says violators could face fines or prison time. The post added that putting adults in conversion therapy based on “subterfuge, erroneous information, pressure or threats” would also be prohibited.

    A global LGBTQ advocacy group called OutRight Action International said in a report that four countries outlaw conversion therapy worldwide: Malta, Ecuador, Brazil and Taiwan. Cyprus, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland have partial bans, according to the AP. Several states and Puerto Rico have also prohibited the practice.

  • 16. VIRick  |  December 18, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Germany: Cabinet Approves Ban on Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, Germany moved a step closer to banning so-called gay "conversion therapies," as the cabinet backed a law that would punish bogus practitioners with up to a year in prison.

    Activists hailed the move, saying Germany would become the first major European power to outlaw attempts to change a person's sexual orientation with techniques including hypnotism and electro-shock treatment.

    The legislation, which parliament is expected to pass by summer 2020, will punish violators with imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to 30,000 euros ($33,100).

  • 17. VIRick  |  December 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Mexico: Morena Proposes Federal Marriage Equality Constitutional Amendment

    Per El Siglo de Torreón:‏

    Propone Morena, el 18 de diciembre 2019, reforma constitucional para garantizar matrimonio igualitario en México; obligaría a todas las entidades a adecuar sus legislaciones en tres meses.

    La propuesta en la Cámara de Diputados, presentada través de la diputada morenista Reyna Celeste Ascencio Ortega, establece que a diferencia de muchas otras iniciativas, de aprobarse, ésta se obligaría a generalizar la decisión en todo el país y cobrarían vigencia las uniones civiles que ya se hayan celebrado antes de la entrada en vigor de estas enmiendas.

    On 18 December 2019, Morena proposes a constitutional reform to guarantee marriage equality in Mexico; It would force all states to adapt their legislation within three months.

    The proposal in the Chamber of Deputies, presented through the Morena deputy Reyna Celeste Ascencio Ortega, establishes that unlike many other initiatives, if approved, it would force the generalization of the decision throughout the country and would upgrade the legality of civil unions that had already been celebrated before these amendments entered into force.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The ruling Morena party proposes a (federal) constitutional amendment requiring states that have not already legislated marriage equality to do so within 3 months. It also immediately invalidates all remaining bans and grants all existing civil unions full marriage rights.

  • 18. VIRick  |  December 18, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Great Britain: Sark Approves Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The tiny island of Sark becomes the last part of the British Isles to approve marriage equality, after the Chief Pleas' favorable vote yesterday, 17 December 2019. The matter now goes to the UK Privy Council for approval when it next meets in February.

    In the meantime, Northern Ireland is due to have same-sex marriage from 13 January 2020, after a law reforming abortion and marriage law there passed the British Parliament in July and came into force in October.

    Note: In Britain, there is a 28-day waiting period from the time a couple submits a marriage request before they can actually marry, meaning that the first same-sex couples to marry in Northern Ireland will be able to do so from 10 February 2020.

  • 19. Randolph_Finder  |  December 23, 2019 at 9:36 am

    The politics of the Privy Council is relatively obscure even by UK standards, but in this case, the approval process has to go through the Privy Council's committee for the Affairs of Jersey and Guernsey, which meets rarely. For Alderney, it was about two months as well.

    This really is a case where the wheels simply grind slowly rather than anyone getting in the way. (This isn't Chile or Switzerland)

  • 20. VIRick  |  December 18, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Yet Another Order in the Federal Challenge to the Transgender Military Service Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 18 December 2019, in "Karnoski v. Trump," the federal case wherein which Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN are challenging the constitutionality of the ban on military service by transgender individuals, we have a new Order:

    "Today, the US District Court for the Western District of Washington (State) ordered the Department of Defense to turn over documents that it has withheld regarding the Trump-Pence administration’s ban on open military service by transgender people, including its purported justifications for the policy."

    The Order is here:

  • 21. VIRick  |  December 18, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Trump Has Been Impeached

    On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached after the House of Representatives voted on two charges against him, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    The House passed the first charge, accusing Trump of abusing the power of his office, Wednesday evening at 8:30 PM EDT, in a 230-197 vote. Next, the House will vote on the second article, obstruction of Congress.

    Two Democrats voted against impeaching Trump on the first article, including Rep. Jeff Van Drew who plans to leave the Democratic Party in the coming days and become a Republican after Trump personally appealed to him. No Republicans voted in favor of impeachment, but Rep. Justin Amash, an independent who left the Republican party earlier this year after saying Trump committed “impeachable conduct,” voted with Democrats. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted present.

    The abuse of power article alleges that Trump pressured Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election by withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid unless the country’s president announced an investigation into former vice-president Joe Biden and his family.

    The obstruction of Congress article is tied to Trump directing executive branch agencies and officials not to comply with congressional subpoenas. Several administration officials subsequently refused to testify during impeachment proceedings.

    The vote on the second article, that of obstruction of Congress, was 229 to 198 that he had indeed obstructed Congress.

  • 22. Fortguy  |  December 18, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Yes, Happy Impeachment Day, everyone! The holiday season is special this year. Trump was right about one thing. He has everyone saying Merry Christmas again.

    Now here's some cheerful holiday music courtesy of Stephen Colbert and Pete Caldera:

  • 23. Fortguy  |  December 19, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Also joining Van Drew of New Jersey in voting against impeachment were Collin Peterson of Minnesota on both articles and Jared Golden of Maine on the second article. Golden supported the first article. José Serrano of New York, who has Parkinson's disease and is not seeking reelection, did not vote.

  • 24. VIRick  |  December 18, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Baja California: Tijuana Fully Opens Its Doors to Marriage Equality

    Baja California: Tijuana Abre Completamente Sus Puertas al Matrimonio Igualitario

    A partir del lunes, 16 de diciembre 2019, el XXIII Ayuntamiento de Tijuana se convirtió en el primer municipio en Baja California en atender las solicitudes de matrimonio igualitario sin que medie un amparo judicial o una recomendación de la Procuraduría Estatal de Derechos Humanos (PedhBC). Magali Ronquillo Palacios, oficial 01 del Registro Civil, subrayó que el presente ayuntamiento respeta el derecho de todas las personas, y eso incluye a la comunidad LGBTTTI.

    En lo que va del 2019, luego de conseguir recomendación de CEDH o amparo judicial, 58 parejas del mismo sexo concretaron su matrimonio en la ciudad de Tijuana. En lo sucesivo, los requisitos para solicitar matrimonio, abundó, son los mismos que las parejas heterosexuales.

    As of Monday, 16 December 2019, the 23rd City Council of Tijuana became the first municipality in Baja California to attend to requests for equal marriage without the mediation of a judicial amparo or a recommendation from the State Attorney for Human Rights (PedhBC). Magali Ronquillo Palacios, official 01 of the Civil Registry, stressed that the present city council respects the rights of all people, and that includes the LGBTTTI community.

    So far in 2019, after securing a recommendation from the CEDH or a judicial amparo, 58 same-sex couples have married in the city of Tijuana. From now on, the requirements to apply for marriage, she added, are the same as for heterosexual couples.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Same-sex couples can now get married in Tijuana just as opposite-sex couples do. Although the state congress has yet to legalize marriage equality, the local Civil Registry says it will follow the Supreme Court's 2015 jurisprudence instead.

  • 25. allan120102  |  December 19, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Sinaloa lgbt groups has won an amparo against congress for voting against. sadly the federal court does not put when a new vote should be held.

  • 26. VIRick  |  December 19, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Sinaloa: LGBT Groups Win Marriage Equality Amparo Ruling in State Supreme Court

    Per Maria Alatorre:

    A partir del 19 de diciembre 2019, el Supremo Tribunal de Justicia del Estado de Sinaloa ampara y protege los derechos de la ciudadanía LGBT, señalando al Congreso del Estado de Sinaloa que debe realizar modificaciones en el Código Familiar del estado para permitir el matrimonio igualitario. Concretamente, se trata de cambios a los Artículos 40 y 165, con el fin de hacer efectivos los derechos a la igualdad y la no discriminación establecidos en el artículo 1° de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

    As of 19 December 20119, the Supreme Court of Justice of the State of Sinaloa protects via amparo the rights of LGBT citizens, signaling to the Congress of the State of Sinaloa that it must make modifications to the State Family Code to allow for marriage equality. Specifically, it needs changes to Articles 40 and 165, in order to make effective the rights to equality and non-discrimination established in Article 1 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

    I do not know what this means, other than that the Sinaloa State Supreme Court is now on the record as being in accord with the Federal Supreme Court and the Federal Supreme Court's jurisprudence, and that the Sinaloa State Congress has procrastinated and obfuscated on this matter, despite multiple court orders from every court imaginable, longer than any other state congress in all of Mexico. And we are still at this impasse. Now, the state must respond to this legislative omission by 31 December 2019.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    In what appears to be a new first, the Supreme Court has ordered Sinaloa to pass marriage equality after the state congress voted against it 20-18 in June and an amparo case was filed alleging a legislative "omission." The state must respond by 31 December.

    I am also confused as to which court issued the instant ruling. One news report states that it was the State Supreme Court (the one I quoted), another claims it to be Federal District Court No. 2 (the one Allan cited), and a third (per Rex Wockner) states it to be the SCJN.

  • 27. VIRick  |  December 20, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Rex Wockner confirms that Allan's initial report was the correct one in terms of identifying the proper court, that the amparo against the Sinaloa Congress for refusing to approve marriage equality was handed down by a Federal District Court:

    La presidenta de la Jucopo confirmó que la 63ra Legislatura (de Sinaloa) ya fue notificada del resolutivo del Juzgado Segundo de Distrito.

    The president of the Jucopo confirmed that the 63rd Legislature (of Sinaloa) was already notified of the decision of the Second District Court.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    It was a federal district court that resolved this amparo, based on earlier Supreme Court rulings, not the Supreme Court itself. So the state congress has to pass marriage equality or appeal the amparo.

    Jucopo = Junta de Coordinación Política (Political Coordination Board) of the state congress

    In correct Mexican legal Spanish, the word "juzgado" is utilized to indicate a court of first instance, one with a single judge. A higher court with a panel of judges is referred to as "corte."

  • 28. VIRick  |  December 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Chile: Constitutional Court Accepts Marriage Equality Case

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Hoy, el 19 de diciembre 2019, el Tribunal Constitucional de Chile declaró la admisibilidad del caso 7774-19 sobre el matrimonio igualitario por una votación de 5-0.

    Today, 19 December 2019, the Constitutional Court of Chile declared the admissibility of the marriage equality case 7774-19 by a vote of 5-0.

    See the post higher up in this same thread for the specifics regarding case 7774-19.

    The 5-0 vote, taken on 17 December, and officially declared and released to the public today, makes this case appear quite promising for a favorable resolution. Furthermore, unlike in Mexico, whenever the Constitutional Court of Chile does issue its ruling, it will be a binding decision with immediate nationwide effect.

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  December 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    More Than 80 Polish Towns Have Declared Themselves 'LGBTQ-Free Zones'

    The European Parliament just voted to condemn the practice and demand the Polish government revoke the symbolic declarations.

  • 30. VIRick  |  December 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Mexico City: 10 Years of Marriage Equality

    Per David Razú Aznar:

    Mañana, 21 de diciembre 2019, se cumplen 10 años de que nuestra CDMX se convirtiera en la primera jurisdicción latinoamericana en aprobar matrimonio igualitario, y hoy la SRE de Mexico organizó una conmemoración.

    Tomorrow, 21 December 2019, will complete 10 years since our CDMX became the first jurisdiction in Latin America to approve marriage equality, and today the SRE of Mexico organized a commemoration.

    SRE = Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (Secretariat of Foreign Affairs)

    At the same time, the SRE has decided that transgender Mexicans living abroad will be able to update, by self-declaration, their name/gender on any of their official documents at any SRE facility, including Mexican consulates and embassies.

    Per Ricardo Baruch D.:

    Hoy, en la SRE que se pintó de arcoiris para celebrar los 10 años de matrimonio igualitario en CDMX y la presentación de la iniciativa para el reconocimiento de la identidad de género en el extranjero.

    Today, the SRE building was painted as rainbows to celebrate 10 years of marriage equality in CDMX and the presentation of the initiative for the recognition of gender identity abroad.

  • 31. VIRick  |  December 20, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    China: Parliament To Consider Legalizing Marriage Equality

    Per Adriano Antinoo LGBTI, Sevilla-Andalucía:

    República China: El Parlamento considerará la legalización del matrimonio igualitario tras recibir miles de peticiones.

    Republic of China: The Parliament will consider the legalization of marriage equality after receiving thousands of petitions.

    El Parlamento de China, una institución que normalmente se dedica a decir que "sí" a todo lo que propone el Partido Comunista, tendrá entre manos un asunto socialmente polémico en el país en los próximos meses. Miles de personas han contestado a una petición de sugerencias para pedir la legalización del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en la actualización del código civil, según informó el periódico Global Times el viernes, el 20 de diciembre 2019.

    The Chinese Parliament, an institution that normally is dedicated to saying "yes" to everything proposed by the Communist Party, will have a socially controversial issue on its hands in the coming months. Thousands of people have answered a petition for suggestions by requesting the legalization of same-sex marriage in the updating of the civil code, as reported by the newspaper Global Times this Friday, 20 December 2019.

  • 32. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I'm not getting my hopes up but this would be huge.

  • 33. allan120102  |  December 20, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    same sex marriage is almost out of the question but civil unions would be more likely if anything is approve . I just hope the lgbt chinese can get something out of it

  • 34. ianbirmingham  |  December 20, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Lawmakers urged to include gay marriage in civil code

    The legislative affairs commission of China's top legislative body acknowledged that it was advised to include the legalization of same-sex marriage in the civil code.

    Yue Zhongming, spokesperson of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said that they have been advised to include the legalization of same-sex marriage in the civil code when the draft civil code solicited public opinions from October 31 to November 29.

    The commission has received 237,057 online suggestions and 5,635 letters, and were mainly about further clarifying scope of close relatives, improving the common debt of spouses and legalizing same-sex marriage, Yue said. Yue did not elaborate on the same-sex marriage request.

    The topic has triggered heated discussions on Chinese social media. It was viewed over 400 million times on China's Twitter-like Weibo on Friday.

    Some netizens voiced support to the legalization of same-sex marriage. However, some said it's too early as the majority has remained silent on the topic, and it's important to raise awareness on the issue.

  • 35. VIRick  |  December 20, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Given China's population, any change whatsoever in China's marriage recognition process would be huge, indeed. It would also seriously influence neighboring jurisdictions with Buddhist heritage, a heritage which is absolutely neutral when it comes to the subject of same-sex anything, as there simply is no prohibition against it within that tradition. Put a different way, there are no "sins" in Buddhism.

    I do not know Chinese, but from what I have read, Chinese law does not actually prohibit same-sex marriage. Instead, regulators have interpreted whatever the written law does say to mean that only hetero marriages are allowed. So, if this is true, then the law itself may not even need to be changed. Only the interpretation of it would need to be expanded, and thus, re-interpreted. Or perhaps, given the Chinese bureaucracy, the regulators might need a more precise regulation, one which is not subject to their interpretation.

  • 36. ianbirmingham  |  December 20, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    The real impact would be upon Russia; Buddhism-practicing countries like India (Tibetan) and Thailand (Theravada) and Taiwan (Mahayana) are already making good progress on their own, while Russia remains as an epicenter of homophobia:

    As for Chinese law regarding same-sex marriage,

    The Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中华人民共和国婚姻法, pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gòng Héguó Hūnyīn Fǎ), adopted at the third session of the Fifth National People's Congress on September 10, 1980, defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  December 20, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Full text of China's draft civil code to be unveiled soon

    The full text of China's draft civil code will be published online to solicit public opinions after the upcoming bi-monthly session of the top legislature, a spokesperson said Friday.

    The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) is scheduled to meet from Dec. 23 to 28 to deliberate various legal documents including the draft civil code.

    According to work arrangements, the draft is also expected to be submitted to the annual session of the NPC next year for deliberation following a decision of the NPC Standing Committee, said Yue Zhongming, spokesperson of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee.

    He also summarized the new changes in the general provisions and six other sections of the draft, such as improvement on the system of the right of habitation, the provisions on sexual harassment, the definition of privacy and new rules on handling cyberspace torts.

    The General Provisions of the Civil Law, which was adopted in 2017, is included in the draft code as the first book.

    All the other draft books have gone through at least two readings at the NPC Standing Committee sessions as well as wide consultations from the public and authorities, said Yue.

    For example, the NPC Standing Committee received 237,057 online suggestions and 5,635 letters on the draft book of marriage and family, which was made public after its third reading.

    The suggestions focused on issues including the scope of close relatives, joint marital debt and same-sex marriage, according to Yue.

  • 38. VIRick  |  December 21, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Croatia: Court Decision Allows Gay Couple to Be Foster Parents

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    For the very first time in Croatia, a Zagreb court has ruled that married (life-partnered), same-sex couple Ivo Šegota and Mladen Kožić have the right to be foster parents. The Ministry of Demography, which rejected their request to provide foster care last year, must now implement the new decision within 60 days, this time in accordance with domestic and international legislation. It stems from yesterday’s decision (on 19 December 2019) by the Zagreb Administrative Court, which annulled previous decisions, including the refusals from both the Center for Social Welfare and the ministry.

    “The court's decision is binding, and an appeal is not allowed, so this judgment is final. The written ruling has not yet arrived, but as stated during the announcement, the court accepted our argument in the lawsuit, based on Croatian regulations and the European Convention on Human Rights. As a result, the court ordered the relevant government agencies to implement the new decision in accordance with the judgment. We believe that the agencies will respect the court decision,” stated Sanja Bezbradica Jelavić, the attorney representing Ivo Šegota and Mladen Kožić.

    The couple in question were among the first couples to enter a life partnership after the Life Partnership Act was passed in Croatia in 2015. This same couple also have a second lawsuit before the Zagreb Administrative Court to become full adoptive parents, a case which is still pending.

    Full joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in seventeen European countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom. Another five: Estonia, Italy, Slovenia, San Marino, and Switzerland permit stepchild adoption in which the registered partner can adopt the biological and the adopted child of his or her partner in some cases. In Croatia, a life partner may become a partner-guardian over their partner's child, which is somewhat comparable to stepchild adoption. The additional new policy in Croatia stemming from the court decision of 19 December 2019 follows that of Greece in which same-sex couples in a civil partnership may become foster, but not adoptive, parents.

    In the above summary list, from Western Europe, only three small nations are missing: Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Cyprus. On the other hand, from Eastern Europe, only three nations even make the list in any form whatsoever: Croatia, Estonia, and Slovenia.

  • 39. Randolph_Finder  |  December 23, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Describing Cyprus as Western Europe is a little odd to me. Would Turkey be described that way as well?

  • 40. VIRick  |  December 23, 2019 at 11:44 am

    The internationally recognized portion of the island, the Republic of Cyprus, is a member of the European Union. It is ex-British, with a Greek ethnic majority, and was never part of the Communist bloc. It is on the same time zone with both Greece and Finland (both also considered to be part of Western Europe) and a whole string of Eastern European countries, in between, which once constituted a major portion of the Communist bloc. It would also appear that all islands within the Mediterranean Sea, whether part of Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, or Cyprus (but not Turkey) are counted as Europe.

    On the other hand, neither Turkey nor the Turkish-occupied portion of Cyprus are even counted as being part of Europe, neither "west" nor "east." Yet, further east geographically, the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan are counted as being part of Eastern Europe, as is Russia.

    Turkey will never be admitted to the European Union, despite having applied multiple times, until after it abandons its occupation of northern Cyprus.

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  December 23, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Even if the occupation of Northern Cyprus is ended, Turkey is still a repressive authoritarian state which bears no resemblance to Europe and does not share European values at all. Turkey is a de facto enemy of Europe, despite being a NATO member due to NATO's historic focus on opposing the former Soviet Union.

    This map provides good evidence backing up Rick's second paragraph:

  • 42. VIRick  |  December 23, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    The Vatican and Some Christmas Thoughts on Its Citizenship

    The Vatican is not a real country, and for our purposes, should be dismissed for the following reasons:

    1. There are no "civilians" resident within its confines.
    2. The Vatican does not afford birthright citizenship to anyone, so even if a woman, by happenstance, were to stagger across the border from Italy and drop her spawn in the middle of St. Peter's Square, it would not be a citizen of the Vatican.
    3. No one can marry there. It has no marriage law.
    4. Only unmarried males (and in 2011, one religious sister) in the direct, official employ of the Vatican are granted Vatican citizenship, and then, only for the term of their employment/duties. For example, the Swiss Guards: To qualify, one must be an unmarried Catholic male of Swiss citizenship who has had prior military training in the Swiss Army. Once one is no longer a Swiss Guard, one is no longer a Vatican citizen. Otherwise, all ordinary service workers are Italian and live in Italy.
    5. Over 90% of its citizens are either clergy or Swiss Guards. The remaining 10% are unmarried non-clergy in the direct employ of the Vatican (certain lawyers, physicians, historians, archivists, museum curators, media specialists).

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  December 24, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    6. The city-state of Vatican City was created by the "Lateran Pacts", which were written in 1929 by the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Mussolini's transformation of democratic Italy into a fascist dictatorship inspired German Nazi Adolf Hitler. Mussolini then went on to sign the 1939 anti-British, anti-French "Pact of Steel" with Germany which created the infamous "Axis" against which World War II was subsequently fought, thereby causing the deaths of over 73 million people.

    In the pre-dawn hours of April 29 the corpses of Mussolini, [Clara] Petacci [(Mussolini's mistress)] and 14 fellow fascists were placed in a truck and dumped like garbage in Milan’s Piazzale Loreto, a deeply symbolic public square for the anti-fascist forces. After Mussolini’s arrest in July 1943, jubilant crowds mutilated images of the dictator. Now, as the sun rose on the “Square of the Fifteen Martyrs,” residents of Milan had the chance to do the same thing, only this time for real. They hurled invectives and vegetables at the dictator’s corpse before kicking, beating and spitting upon it. One woman, deciding Mussolini wasn’t dead enough for her, emptied a pistol into the dictator’s body and shouted, “Five shots for my five assassinated sons!”

    Two men kicked the late Mussolini in the jaw while another put a pendant in his dead hand as a mock symbol of his lost power. A fiery rag was thrown in his face, his skull was cracked, and one of his eyes fell out of its socket.

    Another woman hitched up her skirt, squatted down, and urinated on his face, which others spit on with abandon, while yet a third brought forth a whip with which to beat his battered corpse. A man tried to stuff a dead mouse into the former Italian premier’s slack, broken mouth, chanting all the while, “Make a speech now!” over and over again.

    Pushed beyond hatred and emotional endurance, the angry mob stormed forward and actually trampled the 18 bodies where they lay.

    When a burly man picked up the slain Duce by the armpits and held him for the throng to view, the latter chanted, “Higher! Higher! We can’t see! String them up! To the hooks, like pigs!” Thus it came to pass that the bodies of Il Duce, his mistress, and four others were tied with ropes and hoisted six feet off the ground, their dangling bodies lashed by the ankles to the crosspiece of an unfinished Standard Oil gas station that has long since disappeared.

  • 44. VIRick  |  December 21, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Mexico: In DC, Another Consular Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Consulado de México en Washington DC:

    El día de hoy, el 20 de diciembre 2019, tuvimos el honor de celebrar el matrimonio civil de una pareja del mismo sexo. Muy simbólico, que coincidiera con el 10o. aniversario del matrimonio igualitario en la CDMX.

    Today, 20 December 2019, we had the honor of celebrating the civil marriage of a same-sex couple. Very symbolic, in that it coincided with the 10th anniversary of marriage equality in Mexico City.

  • 45. VIRick  |  December 21, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Mexico: Both (Same-Sex) Parents Must Be Recognized on Children's Birth Certificates

    Per Rex Wockner and México Igualitario:

    Short story version: Per Suprema Corte‏ (SCJN), 19 de diciembre 2019:

    Todas las personas, sin importar su orientación sexual, tienen derecho a formar una familia y tener hijos propios, adoptados, gestados de manera asistida, o procreados por uno de ellos. Uniones familiares formadas por dos mujeres tienen derecho al reconocimiento de sus hijos.

    All persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to form a family and to have their own children, whether by adoption, assisted reproduction, or procreated by one of them. Family unions formed by two women have the right to the recognition of their children.

    Long story version, same source: Per Suprema Corte (SCJN), el 19 de diciembre 2019:

    In the specific case, in 2015, two women requested in writing that the Civil Registry of Aguascalientes recognize and register the child born to one of them as the son of both. The request to list both women as parents was subsequently rejected by the Civil Registry. In this, its latest thesis pronouncement, the First Chamber reiterated its earlier decision overturning that civil registry rejection, while citing human rights grounds, as mentioned above in the short story version.

    The court then goes on with a complex analysis of the matter, given that a third party was obviously involved, but one who did not have a legal union with the woman who gave birth, and was not interested in rearing the child, let alone in even registering as the parent. In the final analysis, given the superior interests of the child, it was thus deemed best for the child to have two parents, as per the original written request by the two women in question. At the time of the original ruling, this case was cited as being "Amparo en revisión 852/2017." But now, as "Thesis LXVIII/2019," it is being utilized to build the jurisprudence for two-parent (same-sex) registrations on birth certificates.

    In the event anyone has not yet noticed, Mexico's Supreme Court, as of June 2015, by issuing its jurisprudence, has finished with the subject of marriage equality; as of September 2016, issued its jurisprudence on the subject of joint adoption by same-sex couples; and as of 26 November 2019, completed similar jurisprudence on the subject of self-declared gender identity, even if half or more of the states in Mexico have not kept pace on any or all of these three matters. Said jurisprudences have been declared, and will not disappear, notwithstanding all the procrastination and obfuscation displayed by various state congresses. Instead, the court has already moved on to deal with this latest jurisprudential theme of two-parent registration on their children's birth certificates.

    Of Mexico's 32 jurisdictions, 19 allow same-sex marriages to be performed without restriction, 17 allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt, and 11 allow for the self-declaration of gender identity. However, because of the nationwide jurisprudence on all three subjects, all 32 must also recognize all legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, all joint adoptions made by same-sex couples and completed elsewhere, and all gender identity self-declarations processed and completed elsewhere.

  • 46. VIRick  |  December 22, 2019 at 8:30 am

    As we near the end of 2019, these 8 jurisdictions are reasonably up-to-date on allowing all three subjects of marriage equality, joint adoption by same-sex couples, and self-declared gender identity: CDMX, Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Hidalgo, Michoacán, and San Luis Potosí. And to date, 9 more have completed two of the three tasks; Marriage equality and joint adoption: Aguascalientes, Campeche, Chiapas, Jalisco, Morelos, Nuevo León, and Puebla; Marriage equality and self-declared gender identity: Nayarit and Oaxaca.

    Six others have only completed one of the three tasks; Marriage equality: Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo, and Zacatecas, the latter only partially; Joint adoption: Querétaro and Veracruz; Self-declared gender identity: Tlaxcala. These 9 jurisdictions are still stuck at zero concerning all three matters: Durango, Edomex, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, and Yucatán.

    Note: Due to changes in the state administrations, both Guerrero and Querétaro have retrogressed on the subject of marriage equality. That retrogression is reflected in the listings above.

  • 47. ianbirmingham  |  December 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    1 in every 4 circuit court judges is now a Trump appointee

  • 48. allan120102  |  December 22, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Cuba to have a referendum to legalize ssm by adding an article to the family code in 2021. Unless evangelicals do the same trick as before Cuba will join other nations to approve ssm . Even if the referendum fails the Constitution protects lgbt couples so a lawsuit might also bring ssm to the island.

  • 49. VIRick  |  December 22, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Cuba to Decide on Marriage Equality in March 2021

    Per Adriano Antinoo LGBTI, Sevilla-Andalucía:

    Cuba: La república latinoamericana decidirá en 2021 si aprueba el matrimonio igualitario en nuevo Código de Familia.

    Cuba: The Latin American republic will decide in 2021 whether to approve marriage equality in its new Family Code.

    Cuba decidirá sobre la legalización del matrimonio igualitario durante la actualización del nuevo Código de Familia, fijada para marzo de 2021, dentro del cronograma legislativo aprobado este sábado, el 21 de diciembre 2019, por la Asamblea Nacional (el Parlamento unicameral) de la isla y estipulado en la recién aprobada Constitución. El cronograma legislativo estipula que el primer borrador del nuevo Código de Familia será presentado en marzo de 2021, para luego iniciar la consulta popular.

    Cuba will decide on the legalization of marriage equality during the update to the new Family Code, set for March 2021, within the legislative schedule approved this Saturday, 21 December 2019, by the island's National Assembly (the unicameral Parliament) and stipulated in the recently approved Constitution. The legislative schedule stipulates that the first draft of the new Family Code will be presented in March 2021, after which will begin the popular consultation.

  • 50. ianbirmingham  |  December 22, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Large Survey Suggests Sociocultural Factors Don't Affect Sexual Orientation

    National sociocultural factors like gender equality, economic development, and individualism do not appear to affect a country's rate of same-sex attraction, suggesting that non-social factors likely explain most of the variation in human sexual orientation.

    Dr Qazi Rahman, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at King's College London, and his co-authors reached that conclusion after digging into a 2005 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Internet survey of 191,088 subjects from 28 nations. The survey was originally conducted for the documentary Secrets of the Sexes and queried participants about a wide array of factors relating to sex, one of which was sexual orientation.

    The BBC survey showed that rates of predominant same-sex attraction were remarkably consistent across all of the countries, ranging mostly from 5% to 9% and averaging around 7%. Two outliers were India, with a self-reported rate of 3%, and the Philippines, with a rate of 11%.

    The researchers then explored whether or not the small variation in rates could be explained by differences in a country's level of individualism (in which freedom of action for individuals is favored over collective or state control), economic development (income, education, etc.), and gender equality. They couldn't discern any statistically significant effects, concluding that "These results do not support frequently offered hypotheses that sexual orientation differences are related to gendered social norms across societies."

    The study was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

  • 51. ianbirmingham  |  December 23, 2019 at 3:05 am

    How Trump is filling the liberal 9th Circuit with conservatives

    Trump has called the 9th Circuit “a complete and total disaster" and a "big thorn in our side," and some congressional Republicans still threaten to break up its jurisdiction. But its changing ideological makeup could wind up giving states like California less legal elbow room to challenge Trump policies and go their own way in areas like reproductive rights and LGBTQ issues.

  • 52. VIRick  |  December 31, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Puebla: State CDH Files "Action of Unconstitutionality" against Puebla Congress's Refusal to Approve Marriage Equality

    Per Julio César Morales:‏

    El 27 de diciembre 2019, la CDH Puebla promovió ante la SCJN una "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" contra negativa del Congreso de Puebla para reconocer el matrimonio igualitario, y contra la prohibición del matrimonio igualitario que aprobó el Congreso de Puebla el 8 de octubre de este año, publicado en el Periódico Oficial del Estado de Puebla el 8 de diciembre.

    On 27 December 2019, CDH Puebla filed an "Action of Unconstitutionality" before the SCJN against the refusal of the Puebla Congress to recognize marriage equality, and against the prohibition of marriage equality, as approved by the Congress of Puebla on 8 October of this year, published in the Official Newspaper of the State of Puebla on 8 December.

    Per CDH Puebla:

    La CDH Puebla presentó ante la SCJN demanda de "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad," que reclama la invalidez del Artículo 294 del Código Civil del Estado de Puebla. Comunicado 154/219

    CDH Puebla presented a complaint before the SCJN for an "Action of Unconstitutionality," claiming the invalidity of Article 294 of the Civil Code of the State of Puebla. Press Release 154/2019

  • 53. VIRick  |  December 31, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Chile: Transgender Rights Law Takes Effect

    Per Esteban Guzmán Rioseco:

    Friday, 27 December 2019, was an historic moment for transgender rights in Chile because the country’s new Gender Identity Law came into force. Trans people who are at least 18 and single can now change their name and legal gender with a simple procedure in the country’s Civil Registry. Teenagers who are between 14-18 can do so in court, but the new law does not include trans children and adolescents who are under 14.

    “Today alone we have 136 people who will complete their procedure throughout Chile,” Justice and Human Rights Minister Hernán Larraín told local media. Another 921 people are already registered to exercise the right to their identity within the next few days.

  • 54. VIRick  |  December 31, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Great Britain: Hetero Civil Partnerships Legal from 31 December 2019

    In 2004, Tony Blair’s Labour government introduced civil partnerships as a segregated form of union for same-sex couples, separate from marriage. That system was left in place when marriage equality was introduced in England and Wales in 2013. However, in June 2018, the UK's Supreme Court ruled that it was unlawful to prevent hetero couples from also entering into civil partnerships.

    The Supreme Court ruling came after a lawsuit was brought by Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who said that the then-current law discriminated against them. They argued that not all couples are comfortable with the idea of marriage, but yet, still want the economic and legal protections it brings.

    While the number of same-sex civil partnerships has plummeted to just a few hundred per year since the legalization of same-sex marriage, the government has predicted that as many as 84,000 ceremonies will be conducted for straight couples in 2020.

  • 55. VIRick  |  December 31, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Belize: Court of Appeal Upholds Supreme Court Ruling Decriminalizing Same-Sex Sexual Relations

    Per Rex Wockner:

    On 30 December 2019, the Belize Court of Appeal delivered a judgment denying the Belize Government’s appeal of a 2016 ruling by the Belize Supreme Court decriminalizing adult consensual same-sex relations. The three-judge bench reaffirmed the 2016 decision of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which criminalized "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and disproportionately discriminated against the LGBT community in Belize, contravened the constitutional rights to dignity, equality before the law, privacy, freedom of expression, and non-discrimination on the grounds of sex, and was therefore void.

    Importantly, Justice Samuel Lungole-Awich stated unequivocally in this judgment that the Constitutional prohibition on sex discrimination includes sexual orientation discrimination, and that this “gives the word sex in Sections 3 and 16 of the Constitution a purposive and generous meaning for protecting human rights. Accordingly, we hold that Section 53 of the Criminal Code is a law which discriminates on the basis of sex…and is void to that extent.” The court further found that sexual expression is part of the Constitutional right to freedom of expression.

  • 56. VIRick  |  December 31, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Belize: Potential Direct Legal Challenge in Favor of Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Оn Моndау еvеnіng, 30 December 2019, а ѕресіаl mееtіng was hеld аt thе Оur Сіrсlе соnfеrеnсе оffісе іn Веlіzе Сіtу tо hеlр ехрlаіn whаt now сhаngеѕ fоr LGВТ сіtіzеnѕ оf Веlіzе, аnd whаt dоеѕn’t, fоllоwіng the Соurt оf Арреаl rulіng upholding the Supreme Court decision that anti-LGBT discrimination is banned under the Belize Constitution .

    In Belize, eаrlіеr thіѕ уеаr, іt wаѕ сlаrіfіеd bу Ѕосіаl Ѕесurіtу, аt thе tіmе оf thе аnnоunсеmеnt оf сhаngеѕ tо thе соntrіbutіоn ѕсhеmе, thаt for cohabiting hеtеrоѕехuаl соuрlеѕ, thе раrtnеr, mаlе оr fеmаlе, іѕ еntіtlеd tо thе оthеr реrѕоn’ѕ bеnеfіtѕ іf hе оr ѕhе dіеѕ; thаt dоеѕ nоt hоld truе fоr ѕаmе-ѕех соuрlеѕ.

    Ѕеnіоr Соunѕеl for the plaintiff in the "Orozco" appeal, Lіѕа Ѕhоmаn, іѕѕuеd іmроrtаnt сlаrіfісаtіоnѕ аbоut thе ѕtаtuѕ оf ѕuсh unіоnѕ, whоѕе раrtnеrѕ, ѕhе ѕауѕ, “hаvе rіghtѕ, but thеу hаvе rіghtѕ bесаuѕе thе lаw ѕауѕ thеу hаvе rіghtѕ, аnd іnѕоfаr аѕ thаt іѕ соnсеrnеd, thе lаw ѕtіll rеѕtrісtѕ thаt tо а mаn аnd а wоmаn. Вut nоt јuѕt аnу mаn оr wоmаn; nеіthеr реrѕоn саn bе lеgаllу mаrrіеd tо аnуоnе еlѕе. Аlѕо, thе unіоn muѕt реrѕіѕt ехсluѕіvеlу fоr а tеrm оf fіvе уеаrѕ."

    In terms of marriage equality, Ѕhоmаn ѕауѕ ѕhе ѕееѕ ѕоmе ѕсоре fоr а direct legal сhаllеngе tо thе Маrrіаgе Асt оr, more indirectly, through the рrоvіѕіоnѕ оf соmmоn-lаw unіоnѕ. Іѕѕuеѕ fасіng соmmоn-lаw аnd LGВТ unіоnѕ, ѕауѕ Ѕhоmаn, іnсludеѕ bеnеfіtѕ fоr сhіldrеn, hоѕріtаl rіghtѕ, and ѕеttlеmеnt оf еѕtаtеѕ, еѕресіаllу regarding іntеѕtаtе (wіthоut а wіll) іndіvіduаlѕ.

  • 57. VIRick  |  January 1, 2020 at 9:09 am

    The Belize Court of Appeal ruling in the "Orozco" appeal, having reaffirmed and expanded the original 2016 judgment decriminalizing same-sex sexual relations, definitively moves Belize well past all the other ex-British Caribbean territories in this regard, particularly given the very clear constitutional reading that the prohibition on sex discrimination includes sexual orientation discrimination.

    In the unlikely event that the Belize Government were to pursue this matter further, the final court of appeal for Belize is that of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), not the Privy Council in England.

    Still, even without an appeal, other sexual orientation cases from other jurisdictions under the purview of the CCJ must utilize the instant judgment as binding precedent. It is now quite clear, as if it were not before, that all still-existing anti-sodomy laws within the ex-British Caribbean are now historic relics of a colonial era, doomed to be soon overturned.

    It is significant that Belize, the most Hispanic of all the ex-British Caribbean territories, has taken the lead on these matters. Depending upon how generous one is in counting "Hispanic," approximately 50% of its population can be deemed as such, with a heavy concentration of Spanish-speakers in the northern portion of the country, close to the Mexican border. In particular, this element is greatly influenced by concurrent events taking place in Mexico, especially Yucatán, a cultural world quite different from the rest of the ex-British Caribbean.

    The Bahamas and the 6 British Overseas Territories do not criminalize same-sex sexual relations. Trinidad/Tobago has already had its own court case overturning its anti-sodomy ban. This leaves us with 9 more with bans needing to be overturned, stretching from Jamaica to Guyana, and including Grenada, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua/Barbuda, and St. Kitts-Nevis. Court cases have already been filed in four of them, with additional cases promised in four more.

    In the meantime, based on the strength of the instant Belize Court of Appeal ruling, Belize itself could push on for marriage equality.

    Note: Most Belizeans are of multiracial descent. According to one estimate, about 52% are Mestizo, 24% Creole (English-speaking Afro-descended), 11% Maya (Q'eqchi', Mopan, Yucatec), 6% Garifuna (English-speaking mixed Afro-Amerindian), 3% East Indian, 4% White (mostly German/Dutch Mennonites), 1% Asian.

    Another counts thus: 10% Maya, 50% Mestizo/Latino, 22% Creole, 5% Garifuna, 5% White, 2% East Indian, 1% Chinese, 6% Mixed.

    In terms of the foreign-born, in order, the largest numbers are from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, USA, China, Canada, and Jamaica. In terms of Honduras, many are English-speaking people from the Bay Islands. For Guatemala, the bulk are Q'eqchi' Maya who have moved across the border en masse. Most of the Mennonites are either US or Canadian-born.

  • 58. VIRick  |  December 31, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Impressive 2019 End-of-the-Year Worldwide Marriage Equality Status Report

    Rob Salerno of LGBT Marriage News has just published a very lengthly and quite accurate and complete worldwide accounting on both the current status of marriage equality and the progress toward decriminalization of same-sex sexual relations.

    Taking matters region-by-region, with emphasis on summarizing events from 2019, he also presents it in a format whereby he simultaneously summarizes the current decade, and then jumps ahead as to what one ought to be expecting in terms of additional progress on both marriage equality and the decriminalization of same-sex sexual relations for the upcoming year, 2020.

    One can find his impressively complete report here:

  • 59. VIRick  |  January 2, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Top 10 LGBT News Stories for 2019 from Latin America and the Caribbean

    Here are the top two in detail:

    Per Javier Corrales:

    2. Ecuador's Constitutional Court legalized same-sex marriage in June. Ecuador is now part of the 30 nations worldwide (including Costa Rica and Israel), and six in Latin America (seven if we include the French Caribbean, and eight if we include Puerto Rico/US Virgin Islands), to recognize marriage equality. It’s also one of the poorest to do so, proving that LGBT rights need not wait until the right economic conditions are present.

    1. Colombia’s three Ls: López, Lozano, Lesbians. For the first time ever, Latin Americans elected an openly-gay politician to the second-most important office in the nation. Former Senator and vice-presidential candidate, Claudia López, was elected mayor of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. Following the election, López then married her long-time partner, Senator Angélica Lozano. López and Lozano have been important defenders of human rights, peace agreements, environmental rights, and of course, LGBT rights. In a moving ceremony, López took possession of the office of mayor on 1 January 2020.

    One can read the remaining top eight LGBT news events for Latin America and the Caribbean, including the cute, coy one about Estanislao Fernández, the son of Argentina's new president, Alberto Fernández, which ranked #6, here:

    Note that the up-and-coming Estanislao beat Mariela Castro, the late Fidel's niece, for newsworthiness, as she was only ranked #7. Then, for better or worse, Brasil received the most mention, prominently figuring in #9, #8, #5, and #4. The Christmas special, #5, in which Jesus is depicted as gay, bringing home a boyfriend to meet his family (perhaps one of the future apostles?), caused their homophobic president, Jair Bolsonaro, and many of his followers, to lose their minds.

  • 60. VIRick  |  January 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Here is Michael Lavers' version of the top news event for 2019 in Latin America:

    In Spanish:

    Toma Posesión la Primera Alcaldesa Lesbiana de Bogotá

    In English:

    Colombia Capital’s First Lesbian Mayor Sworn In

  • 61. VIRick  |  January 3, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    United Methodist Church Un-Unites over Issue of LGBTQ Acceptnce

    On 3 January 2020, the United Methodist Church, which has struggled for years with LGBTQ acceptance, announced a plan for a split in which parishes opposed to same-sex marriage will leave the denomination, while at the same time, such a move would pave the way for LGBTQ inclusion among the remaining congregations.

    The new plan was hailed by both sides, church leaders seeking to overturn the Methodist Church’s bans on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage, as well as by other congregations seeking to go their own way over opposition to LGBTQ inclusion.

    A 16-member group of Methodist bishops outlined the plan in a nine-page “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation.” Under the proposal, churches that separate would receive $25 million in funds from the denomination over the course of four years and be allowed to keep their local church properties.

    New York Conference Bishop Thomas Bickerton, one of 16 bishops who negotiated and signed the proposal, said in a statement that the contentious nature of LGBTQ inclusion within the church demonstrated the need for a plan for amicable separation.

  • 62. Fortguy  |  January 3, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    This is not a done deal. This is merely a proposal that must be approved, along with enabling legislation, at the denomination's General Conference scheduled for May in Minneapolis. Church liberals and progressives including LGBT advocates are incensed that the protocol provides $25 million to anti-LGBT conservatives and the ability to keep church property as seed money for their new hate church despite many of these congregations refusing to pay the apportionments congregations are expected to pay to support the larger UMC because they didn't want the money used to finance the inclusion of LGBTs and other icky persons. In contrast, the protocol only offers up to $2 million for progressives wishing to leave the church.

    It appears that the General Conference will be a bizarre process that will likely involve a convention hall full of Methodists screaming, jumping up and down, and flinging feces at each other like they did at last year's General Conference. Before the conference, the bishops' protocol must be approved by the UMC's Judicial Council which is not a sure bet. The Conference will also likely restructure the church to give the American churches power to remove anti-LGBT dictates from a U.S. version of the Book of Discipline. In the interim, anti-LGBT complaints against clergy and congregations will be held in abeyance. The fallout begins after the General Conference when the shitshow moves to the various regional conferences and individual congregations which must decide over the next two years whether to remain in the UMC or move to whatever denomination is formed by the conservative, anti-LGBT Wesleyan Covenant Association or any other new denominations that may be formed. The following General Conference in 2024 would then have to tidy up whatever business and challenges remain in the smaller UMC.

    Again, this is what will happen if Methodists separate amicably in May. If they don't, then it really gets ugly. There is just too much bad blood in the UMC for it to stay together as is. Frankly, I'm surprised it's the anti-LGBT conservatives that are in a rush to leave the UMC since they won the vote to keep the blanket, church-wide ban on anything LGBT-inclusive last year. At the time, it was the liberals grumbling about having to leave.

  • 63. VIRick  |  January 3, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Perú: New President of Constitutional Court

    While we await the decision in the Ugarteche marriage recognition case:

    Per Javier Alonso de Belaunde:‏

    Hoy, el 3 de enero 2020, asume Marianella Ledesma la presidencia del Tribunal Constitucional, la primera mujer en 23 años de funcionamiento.

    Today, 3 January 2020, Marianella Ledesma assumes the presidency of the Constitutional Court, the first woman in 23 years of operation.

    And, as noted: No soy el ex-congresista, Alberto de Belaunde. Soy más guapo. (I am not the ex-congressman, Alberto de Belaunde. I am better-looking.) Indeed!

  • 64. VIRick  |  January 4, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Colombia: More Elected LGBT Persons Sworn In

    In addition to Claudia López as mayor of Bogotá, all of the following elected LGBT individuals were sworn in to their respective official positions on 1 January 2020:

    Per Caribe Afirmativo:

    Catherine Morales, Diputada del Valle del Cauca
    Andrés Cancimance, Diputado en Putumayo
    Andrés Duque, Concejal en Amagá, Antioquia
    Jhon Jairo, Concejal en San Rafael, Antioquia
    Luis Carlos Leal A, Concejal de Bogotá y segundo vicepresidente
    Taliana Gómez, Edila de Santa Marta
    Juan Sánchez, Concejal de Cajicá y primer vicepresidente
    Mario Ospina, Concejal de Toro, Valle del Cauca
    Oriana Zambrano, Diputada, Presidenta de la Asamblea departamental de La Guajira
    Esteban Gañan, Concejal de Pereira, Risaralda
    Jorge Giraldo, Concejal de Bello, Antioquia
    Natalia Goyeneche, Edila de Teusaquillo, Bogotá

    Concejal = Municipal council member
    Edil = Mayor

    Here is a more detailed news article in Spanish about Taliana Gómez, the newly sworn-in Edila de Santa Marta, the first transgender person to be popularly elected to a public position in the Caribbean.

  • 65. VIRick  |  January 4, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    2019: 67 Murders against LGBT Population in Central America

    2019: 67 Asesinatos contra Población LGBT en Centroamérica

    Per Agencia Presentes:

    Here is a long, detailed report, in Spanish, on the sad state of LGBT rights in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In addition, the report documents the number of gay men, trans women, and lesbians murdered in 2019 in those three Central American republics. Specifically, the three recorded 34, 24, and 9 murders, respectively. Of these, in Honduras, 19 were murders of gay men, 9 of trans women, and 6 of lesbians. For Guatemala, the numbers were 10, 6, and 3, with 5 more where the gender identity was undetermined. In El Salvador, one gay man and 8 trans women were murdered. Looked at slightly differently, of the 67 murders, collectively 30 were of gay men, 23 were of trans women, 9 were of lesbians, and 5 were of undetermined gender identity.

    The first two countries show a marked increase in violence, while the third shows a decrease, one being attributed to the fact that so many LGBT people, especially trans women, have already fled El Salvador. However, perhaps most telling, to date, of the 67 murders, only two, of two trans women in El Salvador, have even been prosecuted. This report gives the impression that the other two nations, Honduras and Guatemala, are not even trying to combat the violence.

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