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January 6 open thread and news updates


Hey everyone, we’re back.

Equality Case Files has posted a list of LGBT cases being heard this month.

EQCF also that the Supreme Court will consider whether to take up two LGBT-related cases at this Friday’s private conference: one is about Philadelphia’s decision to suspend its contract with Catholic Social Services over adoption and LGBT rights, and the other involves a florist who refuses to provide flowers for same-sex weddings. It takes four votes to grant review.

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


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 6, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    El Salvador: Constitutional Court to Rule on Marriage Equality by Late March

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador plans to rule on marriage equality before the end of March 2020, Justice Aldo Cáder said today, 6 January. The case in question dates from 2016. In addition, there are several newer cases pending which were accepted by the court for resolution in August 2019.

    Sala de lo Constitucional resolvería demanda sobre matrimonio igualitario en los primeros tres meses de 2020. El magistrado Aldo Cáder reveló este lunes por la mañana, el 6 de enero, que la Sala de lo Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) se encuentra en la fase final para resolver la demanda sobre el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, la cual fue presentada en 2016.

    The Constitutional Chamber plans to resolve the demand for marriage equality within the first three months of 2020. Judge Aldo Cáder revealed on Monday morning, 6 January, that the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) is in the final phase of resolving the demand concerning same-sex marriage, one which was filed in 2016.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 6, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    US Supreme Court: Two Upcoming Cases of LGBT Interest

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Two LGBT cases are listed for consideration at the court's next conference on 10 January 2020. At that conference, the justices could vote on whether or not to hear the cases, or they could take no action, putting off their decision until a future conference.

    The cases are (with links to SCOTUS dockets):
    • "Fulton v. City of Philadelphia," a federal challenge to the city’s decision to suspend the contract with Catholic Social Services because said agency refuses to place children with same-sex couples.

    • "Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington State," for the second time around, on appeal from the Washington State Supreme Court, said florist is still refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding based on her own personal religious objection, an action which has twice been deemed to be in violation of Washington State’s non-discrimination law.

    On its second trip to the Supreme Court, this is the first conference for "Arlene's Flowers;" however, "Fulton" has been distributed several times, but so far, has always been rescheduled before actually making it to conference.

  • 3. VIRick  |  January 7, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Puebla: CNDH to Advocate for Same-Sex Marriage before Supreme Court

    The CDH Puebla initiated the present "Action of Unconstitutionality" against the Puebla Congress when they made the initial filing with the Supreme Court in late December 2019. However, at this stage, the national CNDH, as advocates, have now accepted the case, and will be making the presentation before the Supreme Court.

    Puebla: CNDH Aboga por Matrimonio LGBT ante SCJN

    Con objeto de garantizar los derechos y las libertades de las personas pertenecientes a la comunidad LGBTTTI que deseen contraer matrimonio en el estado de Puebla, la presidenta de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH), María del Rosario Piedra Ibarra, este lunes pasado, el 6 de enero 2020, promovió la correspondiente demanda de "Acción de Inconstitucionalidad" ante la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN).

    With the objective of guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of persons in the LGBTTTI community who wish to marry in the state of Puebla, the president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), María del Rosario Piedra Ibarra, on Monday, 6 January 2020, promoted the corresponding demand for "Action of Unconstitutionality" before the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN).

    This Spanish language news article also introduces us to a new gender-neutral linguistic twist, one which is neither Spanish nor English, when it referred to María del Rosario Piedra Ibarra, as "ombudsperson." The term originated in Sweden, and in Swedish, one would say "ombudspersonen" (agent's person/advocate or personal agent). Notice that the US midwestern slang, "buddy," which still carries the same meaning, but in a very informal sense, is lurking in the middle of that word.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 7, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Puebla: SCJN Accepts "Action of Unconstitutionality" Case Concerning Marriage Equality

    And, here it is, just now listed and accepted before the full court as expediente 143/2019, not only challenging the "man-woman" language still extant in Article 294 of the Puebla Civil Code, but also as still found in (and apparently, recently added into) three other laws in both the civil and penal codes of Puebla, as follows:

    “[…] Artículo 294 del Código Civil para el Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla en la porción normativa “El matrimonio es un contrato civil, por el cual un sólo hombre y una sola mujer, …” publicado en el Periódico Oficial del Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla, Tomo DXXXVI, número 5, Quinta Sección, de fecha 6 de diciembre de 2019; en el Decreto del Honorable Congreso del Estado, por el que se reforman, adicionan, y derogan diversas disposiciones de los siguientes ordenamientos: La Ley para el Acceso de las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia, La Ley para la Igualdad entre Mujeres y Hombres, La Ley para Prevenir y Erradicar los Delitos en Materia de Trata de Personas y para la Protección y Asistencia a las Víctimas de estos Delitos, El Código Civil y el Código Penal, todos del Estado de Puebla […]”

    […] Article 294 of the Civil Code for the Free and Sovereign State of Puebla in the normative portion, “Marriage is a civil contract, for which only one man and one woman, …” published in the Official Newspaper of the Free and Sovereign State of Puebla, Volume DXXXVI, number 5, Fifth Section, dated 6 December 2019; in the Decree of the Honorable State Congress, by which various provisions of the following regulations are reformed, added to, and repealed: The Law for Access of Women to a Life Free of Violence, The Law for Equality between Women and Men, The Law to Prevent and Eradicate Crimes in Trafficking of Persons and for the Protection and Assistance to Victims of these Crimes, the Civil Code and the Criminal Code, all of the State of Puebla […] ”

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 7, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Another Kentucky City Bans LGBTQ Discrimination

    Per Fairness Campaign‏:

    Fort Thomas KY becomes the 17th city in Kentucky, and the 5th Cincinnati suburb, with an across-the-board LGBTQ Fairness ordinance after a unanimous 5-0 vote tonight, 7 January 2020.

    One should further note that a similar campaign, modelled after the one in Kentucky, called Fairness West Virginia, is attempting to have the WV legislature pass statewide LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections:

    More than 100 diverse faith leaders from across West Virginia signed onto a coalition to endorse the Fairness Act, a proposed bill that would ensure LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces.

    Fairness West Virginia, the state’s LGBTQ civil rights organization, announced the coalition Monday morning, 6 January 2020, at the state capitol. The coalition’s members come from every corner of the state and represent its largest faith traditions and denominations.

  • 6. VIRick  |  January 8, 2020 at 10:42 am

    New York State: Transgender Minor Sues State over Birth Certificate Policy

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On Tuesday, 7 January 2020, in a suit brought by Lambda Legal, a 14-year-old transgender teen, M.H.W., unable to change the sex listed on his birth certificate, sued New York State in federal court, claiming a discriminatory policy is forcing him to rely on a document that inaccurately portrays his identity. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of New York at Albany and assigned to Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., argues that transgender minors should have the ability to correct their New York State birth certificates, something that underage individuals with documents issued in New York City and some other states can already do.

    M.H.W., who now lives in Houston TX, began undergoing hormone replacement therapy in September 2019, according to the lawsuit. A court in Texas approved his name change in October and his mother, Jennifer Wingard, said his US passport and Social Security card now list him as male.

    The Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief is here:

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 8, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Michigan: Ballot Initiative for Statewide LGBT Protections

    Preparing an end-run around Michigan's Republican-controlled legislature, activists are getting ready to gather signatures for a ballot initiative that could codify statewide employment and housing protections for LGBTQ residents.

    To succeed, activists, working with support from corporations like Apple and Verizon, need at least 340,027 signatures before 27 May. If the signatures are gathered, the legislature will have the option of adding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to its list of protected characteristics in anti-discrimination law. Should the legislature fail to act, quite possible, considering the state Senate majority leader has voiced opposition, voters would decide on the matter in the November 2020 election.

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 8, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Friendly reminder to whomever is keeping track of the state-by-state counts at Wikipedia on various matters concerning "LGBT Rights in Mexico," that this, the most-recent change for 2019, one relevant to Chihuahua and gender identity, has not yet been properly noted:

    Chihuahua: Trans Persons Can Adapt Birth Certificate Information without Amparo

    Chihuahua: Personas Trans Pueden Adecuar Acta de Nacimiento sin Amparo

    El 26 de noviembre 2019, el Registro Civil nos informó que, en cumplimiento a la jurisprudencia emitida por el pleno del Décimo Séptimo Circuito, ya no se les negará la adecuación en sus actas de nacimiento, por lo que no será necesario interponer un juicio de amparo, permitiendo que tengan acceso a su derecho a la identidad y nombre, respetando sobre todo, la igualdad.….

    On 26 November 2019, the Civil Registry informed us that, in compliance with the jurisprudence issued by the full court of the Seventeenth Circuit, they will no longer be denying adaptation on birth certificates, so it will no longer be necessary to file for an amparo judgment, allowing everyone to have access to their right to identity and name, respecting above all, equality.

    This change makes Chihuahua jurisdiction #11 within Mexico to allow for self-determination of gender identity, (giving us 7 additional states for 2019, not just the 6 that are presently listed).

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 9, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Virginia: Comprehensive Statewide LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Law Planned

    On Wednesday, 8 January 2020, the Virginia General Assembly’s 2020 legislative session began with hopes that lawmakers will pass a comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination bill. Last November, Democrats finally regained control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than two decades.

    Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County) said during a 19 December press conference in Richmond with LGBTQ activists that Virginia “needs comprehensive protections for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, friends, co-workers. In 2020, I’m here to tell you we will deliver them,” she added. During last month’s press conference, Filler-Corn further noted that Virginia is among the more than two dozen states “where members of the LGBTQ community are not explicitly protected from discrimination.”

    Also, Vee Lamneck, executive director of Equality Virginia, noted there are additional legislative priorities this year needing to be addressed that include adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Virginia’s hate crimes law, and banning so-called "conversion therapy" in the state.

    State Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) has introduced bills that would allow local governments to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination ordinances, and require health insurance companies that offer policies in Virginia to cover transition-related care for transgender policy holders.

    On Tuesday, 7 January 2020, State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) told the "Blade" he will once again push for the repeal of Virginia’s statutory ban on same-sex marriage, (a dead law that still needs to be removed from the books).

  • 10. VIRick  |  January 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Virginia: Senate Bill to Ban LGBTQ Discrimination Introduced

    Today, 10 January 2020, Virginia state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s non-discrimination law. Senate Bill 868 — also known as the Virginia Values Act — would prohibit LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit.

    Governor Ralph Northam and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax County) are among those who support the bill. The measure has been referred to the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  January 10, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    With the Democratic trifecta in place this should pass like a hot knif through butter. Also, it would be very symbolic/poetic for Danica Roem to carry the bill repealing the anti-marriage law since Bob Marshall, whom she defeated, was said Bill's sponsor.

  • 12. VIRick  |  January 9, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Brasil: Judge Orders Netflix to Stop Streaming Gay Jesus Special

    This is the same film over which the homophobic president of Brasil, Jair Bolsonaro, and any number of his followers, burst their badly swollen hemorrhoids in uncontrolled shit-fits:

    A judge in Brasil has ordered Netflix to stop streaming a satirical film depicting Jesus Christ as gay. The Netflix Christmas special, "A Primeira Tentação de Cristo," or "The First Temptation of Christ," had already sparked criticism from religious leaders.

    But the Brazilian newspaper, "Folha," reports a court justice in Rio de Janeiro has now ordered Netflix to withdraw the special, at least for now. That’s motivated in part by seven lawsuits already filed by church leaders over the content of the special. In the Portuguese-language satire, Jesus, played by Gregory Duvivier, brings home a male love interest to meet his parents for the holidays. It is an episode from the comedy sketch show, "Porta Dos Fundo," or "The Back Door." The episode has created an uproar in Brasil, where on Christmas Eve, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a studio where the show is produced, "Folha" reports.

    A Associação de Fé e Cultura do Centro Dom Bosco had requested that a judge order the episode be taken down, but that request was initially denied in court. An appeals judge, however, has ruled that suspension of streaming the episode was beneficial “not only for the Christian community, but for the mostly Christian Brazilian society.” The judge also noted in the order that suspending the episode would prevent more serious and irreparable damage within Brasil than it would cause economic hardship for Netflix or the show producers, especially as the Christmas season, when the show would attract the highest viewership, was already passed.

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 10, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Brasil: Supreme Court Rules to Allow Netflix to Continue Airing Gay Jesus Special

    On Wednesday 8 January 2020, an appeals court judge in Rio de Janeiro ruled that a movie satirizing Jesus as gay must be removed from Netflix's streaming service, but on the very following day, 9 January 2020, the highest court in Brasil overturned that decision.

    "One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of the citizens of Brasil," Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli said Thursday.

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 9, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    South Carolina: One of Four States Still without Hate Crime Laws

    More than four years after a white supremacist opened fire on a historically black church in South Carolina, lawmakers there are now pointing to recent anti-Semitic attacks in New York and New Jersey to argue that the state needs its first law targeting hate crimes.

    South Carolina is one of only four states in the US that has no hate crime statutes, even after nine people were murdered at Emanuel AME in the summer of 2015. Since then, white supremacists have become more open about their views; violent hate crimes have been on the rise.

    Advocates for the black and Jewish communities came together, alongside politicians, in the hopes they can apply enough pressure to pass this bill, unlike several similar measures that have been introduced and died in the past two decades. State Rep. Beth Bernstein, a Democrat, pre-filed the bill after working on it for more than a year. She tweeted on Monday to urge lawmakers that “the time is now to enact” it.

    According to the Justice Department, Arkansas, Georgia, and Wyoming also have no hate crime statutes.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 10, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    City of Puebla, Capital of Puebla State, Approves Marriage Equality

    Although we have not yet determined whether San Pedro Cholula, the city in Puebla state which had authorized marriage equality based solely upon the 2015 jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, is still continuing to marry same-sex couples, its immediate neighbor, the much larger city of Puebla, the capital of the state, has today chosen to ignore the state's new restrictions and has pressed ahead in authorizing marriage equality within its own municipal boundaries:

    Per Escándala‏:

    Hoy, el 10 de enero 2020, el cabildo del municipio de Puebla aprobó el registro y trámites de matrimonio igualitario en la capital del estado de Puebla y en sus 17 juntas auxiliares. La presidenta municipal de Puebla, Claudia Rivera Vivanco, presentó la iniciativa para que en las 17 juntas auxiliares los jueces permitan los matrimonios igualitarios, y el Ayuntamiento de Puebla aprobó por mayoría la iniciativa.

    ¡Ya se pueden casarte en Puebla (ciudad).

    Today, 10 January 2020, the city council of the municipality of Puebla approved the registration and procedures for marriage equality in the capital of the state of Puebla and in its 17 auxiliary boards (branch offices). The municipal president of Puebla, Claudia Rivera Vivanco, presented the initiative so that in the 17 auxiliary units the judges will allow equal marriages, and by a majority, the Puebla City Council approved the initiative.

    You can get married in Puebla (city).

    Per la Secretaría para la Igualdad Sustantiva de Género:‏

    Hoy, el cabildo aprobó, con 18 votos a favor (Morena, PRD, PRI) y 5 abstenciones (PAN), el matrimonio igualitario en la capital y en sus 17 juntas auxiliares, con lo cual se cumple una de las principales promesas de campaña de la presidenta, Claudia Rivera Vivanco.

    Today, the council approved, with 18 votes in favor (Morena, PRD, PRI) and 5 abstentions (PAN), marriage equality in the capital and in its 17 auxiliary boards, one which fulfills one of the main campaign promises of its president, Claudia Rivera Vivanco.

    Over 1.6 million of the state's total population of 6.1 million people live within the municipality of Puebla, while an additional large number live in the adjacent ring of suburbs surrounding it, one of which is San Pedro Cholula, population 130,000.

    A much fuller report can now be found here:

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 10, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Puebla: State Marriage Equality Statistics, 2015-18

    The first 12 same-sex marriages in Puebla state were accomplished through the issuance of an amparo judgment. The rest did not require such:

    1 Puebla

    1 Puebla

    4 Puebla
    4 San Pedro Cholula
    1 Tepeaca

    40 Puebla
    22 San Pedro Cholula (1 with amparo)
    1 San Andrés Cholula
    5 Atlixco
    2 Teziutlán
    1 Tehuacán
    1 Ignacio Zaragoza
    1 San Martín Texmelucan
    1 Modulo ISSSTE Puebla

    This tallies to 85 marriages between same-sex couples already performed in Puebla state, in 9 of its 217 municipalities, through to the end of 2018 (73 without amparo), with more occurring without amparo through most of 2019 (and in more municipalities).

    Modulo ISSSTE is a senior living complex, organized and run as part of the social security benefits for retired state workers. Apparently, an elderly same-sex couple living there chose to be married, and were accommodated at the facility itself.

  • 17. allan120102  |  January 10, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    I believe ssm stop when the law passed by the legislators came into effect, if this is indeed true that means that deputies can overturn a supreme Court ruling by passing a similar law to the one struck down.

    I havent seen more marriages occuring in Puebla and every piece of information I search gives conflicting results.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 11, 2020 at 10:18 am

    In Puebla state, the new unconstitutional prohibition of marriage equality, approved by the Congress of Puebla on 8 October 2019, was published in the Official Newspaper of the State of Puebla on 6 December, the date upon which it would have gone into effect, assuming civil registry officials statewide were paying any attention. However, no one seems to want to say.

    The most-recent marriage of a same-sex couple in Puebla state for which I can find evidence occurred in Tecamachalco, a small town in the east-central part of the state, near Tepeaca. It was the first equal marriage for that municipality (thus making the event newsworthy), and took place on 7 November 2019, presided over by the mayor, the director of the civil registry, and other town officials, with family and friends in attendance. So, based on this event alone, we can safely state that same-sex marriages occurred in Puebla state during the first 11 months of 2019.

    Noting the dates, said marriage happened after the state congress changed the law, but before that change could be published and go into effect, assuming it actually went into effect. Although the congress dropped the unconstitutional "for the perpetuation of the species" clause (para perpetuar la especie), the wording in the unchanged portion still reads "man-woman" (un solo hombre, una sola mujer), another clause already declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2017, and for which a new "Action of Unconstitutionality" has been filed and subsequently accepted by the Supreme Court.

    I honestly do not believe that a state congress can constitutionally over-ride a Supreme Court ruling of unconstitutionality and be successful. I say that because the mayor and city council of the municipality of Puebla have just over-ridden their own state congress, citing Supreme Court jurisprudence, and are perfectly within their own constitutional rights to adhere to said jurisprudence (as are any and all municipalities in all of the remaining intransigent states in Mexico which have still not authorized same-sex marriage).

    We have already seen multiple municipalities in a wide assortment of states jump ahead of their own state congresses on this matter, as noted in Querétaro, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Zacatecas, even Puebla. And so have state governors, through the issuance of statewide decrees, as we have already seen in both Chihuahua and Baja California. In fact, I am anticipating that San Pedro Cholula will follow suit behind the municipality of Puebla, and formalize their own authorization of same-sex marriage within that municipality, as well, as they have been at the forefront in that state on this issue all along.

    By definition, Mexico is always messy. The recent contradictory moves by the Puebla state congress and the city council of Puebla simply add several layers of messiness to the entire process. However, although much noisier, it is not that different from the mess in Zacatecas. There, after the state congress refused to legalize same-sex marriage statewide, the city council for Zacatecas went ahead and authorized it within their municipality, leading two other municipalities within that state, so far, to follow suit.

  • 19. VIRick  |  January 11, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    Perú: Partido Morado, 44 Campaign Promises for Upcoming Parliamentary Elections

    #30. Gender Identity Law

    We will propose to rectify the DNI so that it does not require a judicial process, but rather, an administrative procedure that will be more just and equitable. This will guarantee the rights of transgender persons, save time and money, and bring predictability to the norms on personal identification.

    #31. Civil Marriage Equality

    We will approve legislation so that same-sex couples can marry, with the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples. In a true republic, all of us are equal before the law.

    DNI = Documento Nacional de Identidad (National Identity Card)

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