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2/18 open thread


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


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  February 18, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    'Queers Against Pete' protesters confront Buttigieg in San Francisco

    Buttigieg’s lack of support for "Medicare for All" and free public college, as well as his financial support from billionaire donors, is giving members of the LGBTQ+ community pause.

  • 2. JayJonson  |  February 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    They are Bernie bros. The "Queers against Pete" title is just a diversion.

  • 3. VIRick  |  February 18, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Virginia Senate Passes Bill Banning "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    On Monday, 17 February 2020, the Virginia Senate passed a bill that would prohibit health care providers from engaging in so-called "conversion therapy" for minors. An earlier version of the bill was killed during the 2019 legislative session. However, this time, Senate Bill 245, sponsored by state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County), passed with bipartisan support.

    On 3 February 2020, the Virginia House of Delegates passed its version of the bill. Governor Ralph Northam is expected to sign the measure into law.

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    India: Up-Date on Marriage Equality Court Case

    Per Rex Wockner:

    On Tuesday, 18 February 2020, the Kerala High Court of Kerala state, India, took up the marriage equality case of Nikesh and Sonu challenging the provisions of the Special Marriage Act 1954 to the extent that it does not permit the registration of same-sex marriages, and delayed the proceedings for one month in order to give the national government more time to reply. In India, High Court rulings generally have national effect unless another High Court has ruled differently.

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 20, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Cuba: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Per Jorge Luis Mazorra Ortiz, Diputado al Parlamento Cubano (2013-2018):

    En Cuba, estoy seguro que en los próximos meses se retomará el debate en todas las esquinas de opiniones divergentes sobre el matrimonio igualitario. Mi criterio es simple: Apoyo al matrimonio para todas las personas. Las minorías también tienen derechos!

    In Cuba, I am certain that in the coming months the debate will resume with divergent opinions from all corners concerning marriage equality. My criteria is simple: Support marriage for everyone. Minorities also have rights!

    Per Julio César Guanche in "On Cuba News:"

    La Dignidad No Se Plebiscita

    Llevar a referendo el matrimonio igualitario en Cuba sería plebiscitar el derecho humano a no ser discriminado. Un próximo Código de Familia, a ser aprobado en menos de dos años, tras plebiscito, especificará qué tipo de personas podrán contraer matrimonio. Por primera vez desde 1959, se recurrirá a plebiscito para aprobar una ley.

    Varios diputados y juristas aseguraron que el cambio entre el Anteproyecto y la Constitución no significaba “retroceso” del matrimonio igualitario. Ciertamente, la redacción vigente no lo impide. Ahora es una posibilidad, aunque en el Anteproyecto, era una garantía.

    Dada la metodología de recogida de opiniones del debate constitucional, fue imposible cuantificar la voluntad opuesta al matrimonio igualitario, pero pareció ser menos de la cuarta parte de los planteamientos recogidos durante la consulta.

    Dignity Is Not to Be Voted Upon

    Bringing in a referendum on marriage equality in Cuba would be to vote on the human right to not be discriminated against. The next Family Code, to be approved in less than two years, after a referendum, will specify who will be able to contract marriage. For the first time since 1959, a referendum will be used to approve a law.

    Various deputies and jurists have assured that the change between the Preliminary Draft and the Constitution did not mean “backward movement” for marriage equality. Certainly, the current wording does not prevent it. It is now a possibility, although in the Preliminary Draft, it was a guarantee.

    Given the methodology of collecting opinions from the constitutional debate, it was impossible to quantify the number of those opposed to marriage equality, but it seemed to be less than a quarter of what was collected during the consultation.

    Note: The photo accompanying this news article is iconic.

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 21, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Afro-Cubanos Invoke Yoruba Orishás in Favor of Marriage Equality

    Con un toque de tambor por la diversidad en favor del matrimonio igualitario en Cuba, celebró su primer aniversario el proyecto de infoactivismo, Dame La Mano, que tiene la página LGBT cubana con mayor número de seguidores.

    Junto a la iniciativa Afro-Cuban United, los tambores sonaron en la actividad religiosa y festiva en honor al santo del panteón yoruba, Obbatalá, en una casa decorada con banderas multicolores y la distintiva de la comunidad transgénero.

    "Con el tambor festivo, nos encomendamos a esta deidad para pedir calmar las tensiones sociales acerca del referendo de 2021 sobre el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, pues es normal que dos personas se quieran y puedan estar juntas.”

    With a drum beat for diversity in favor of marriage equality in Cuba, the info-activism project, Dame La Mano (Give Me Your Hand), the Cuban LGBT group with the largest number of followers, celebrated its first anniversary.

    Together with the Afro-Cuban United initiative, the drums sounded in religious and festive activity in honor to the saint of the Yoruba pantheon, Obbatalá, in a house decorated with multicolored flags and the distinct one of the transgender community.

    "With the festive drum, we entrust ourselves to this deity, asking to calm the social tensions surrounding the 2021 referendum on same-sex marriage, since it is normal for two people to love each other and be together."

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 20, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Mauritius: Up-Date on Court Case Challenging British Colonial Anti-Sodomy Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Mauritius, the second hearing in the Supreme Court case to decriminalize same-sex sexual activity, originally scheduled for 18 February 2020, has been postponed until 3 March. The first hearing in the case took place on 21 November 2019.

    Mauritius, of course, is one of the many now-independent nations still stuck with the imposed Victorian British colonial Section 377 law (in Mauritius, called Section 250) criminalizing same-sex sexual activity.

  • 8. VIRick  |  February 21, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Ireland's Openly Gay Prime Minister Resigns

    Ireland’s first openly gay Prime Minister resigned on Thursday, 20 February 2020. The BBC reported that Leo Varadkar submitted his resignation after the Irish Parliament failed to name a new Prime Minister, resigning less than two weeks after his Fine Gael party lost 15 seats in the country’s general elections.

    Varadkar, 41, became Ireland’s Prime Minister in 2017. He will remain Ireland’s caretaker Prime Minister until Parliament chooses his successor.

  • 9. VIRick  |  February 21, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Uruguay: New Rules Implemented on Surname Format

    Per IMPO‏ Uruguay:

    Código de la Niñez y la Adolescencia

    El hijo de una pareja heterosexual llevará de primer apellido el paterno y segundo el materno. Los padres pueden invertir el orden siempre que exista acuerdo entre ellos.

    El hijo de un matrimonio homosexual llevará los apellidos de sus padres en el orden que ellos opten. En caso de no existir acuerdo, se determinará por sorteo.

    Code of Childhood and Adolescence

    The child of a heterosexual couple will carry the father's surname first and the mother's second. The parents can reverse the order as long as there is agreement between them.

    The child of a same-sex marriage will carry the surnames of their parents in the order they select. If there is no agreement, it will be determined by lottery/chance.

    Note: In Latin countries, the surnames and surname order for children is regarded with extreme importance, and is regulated by law. IMPO Uruguay (Center for Official Information) is the institution in charge of disseminating the current national norms. With these new rules, Uruguay has set the modern Latin standard, simultaneously accommodating both feminists and same-sex couples.

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  February 21, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    Why are surnames and surname order so important in Latin countries?

  • 11. allan120102  |  February 21, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    Its part of tradition and you might say machismo. in most countries in Latin America is by force that the surname of the dad needs to be first. If the father of baby does not recognize him/her then the mom might use both of her surnames or was suppose to pass in 2018 Not sure if it did but in rural places at least the people who add you to the register of people look you bad or disgust. I remember this because many deputies from conservative departments were making a scene because they didn't want the surname of the women first saying that it has been tradition and that values were being lost.

  • 12. VIRick  |  February 22, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    It is more than just the paternal macho tradition, as it has also been embedded into the law in a very rigid, formulaic fashion. And until quite recently, once a person's name and gender had been legally recorded, it practically required an act of God before any changes could be legally allowed for re-registration. That formulaic rigidity became a legal barrier encountered by a wide variety of individuals for a whole host of reasons, specifically, anyone whose situation did not precisely match with the traditional, rigid, one-size-fits-all formula:

    1, Women who married.
    2. Women who divorced.
    3. All transgender individuals.
    4. Same-sex couples.
    5. Children of single mothers.
    6. Children of same-sex couples.

    Women who married were legally required to attach "de Whatever" (the husband's surname), behind their own full name. Women with business careers and those in politics often simply refused, and continued with their pre-established name. On the other hand, women who divorced frequently were unable to get rid of the "de Whatever," particularly if from a country which refused to recognize an Uruguayan divorce. Both of these two issues have finally been resolved, but it took years of struggle, right up to the modern era, in both instances.

    Transgender individuals, as well as those whose gender marker had been mis-recorded, have basically had to follow the married/divorced women into court to force the issue to be allowed to change their name/gender marker on official records. Although 13 Latin countries (and all French territories) now allow for this type of name/gender change, if not by law, then at least through a court procedure, this is still a work in progress, as there continue to be a number of jurisdictions which refuse, namely Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Venezuela (plus Haiti, Suriname, all Dutch possessions, and every last British/ex-British Caribbean territory). Court challenges are pending in El Salvador, Venezuela, and Suriname, while the president of the Dominican Republic has taken to simply over-riding the law by issuing individualized decrees granting name/gender change to various petitioners.

    Same-sex couples and their children, as well as those of single mothers, still face many complications, as the traditional formula simply does not fit with their situation. Even in Chile, with its AUCs, one major aspect of that lawsuit now before the Constitutional Court, besides the recognition of the couple's Spanish marriage as marriage, involves the recognition of both mothers as mothers, and the demand that their child be legally registered with both mothers' surnames. Ecuador just had its first favorable ruling, in the case of Satya, on the exact same situation in 2018. And despite the ruling, it still took the women 6 months before the Civil Registry in Quito would comply.

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  February 22, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Taiwan sees nearly 3,000 same-sex weddings in year of legalization

    928 were concluded between men and 2,011 between women, ministry data showed. Geographically, the largest number took place in New Taipei City, namely 614, followed by 484 in Taipei City and 396 in Kaohsiung City.

    Gay rights activists have also been campaigning for the legalization of same-sex marriages between a Taiwanese citizen and a partner from a country which ban the practice. At present, only citizens from countries where same-sex marriage is legal can marry their Taiwanese partner on the island nation.

  • 14. VIRick  |  February 23, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Maryland: Name-Change Bill Passes in House of Delegates

    On 20 February 2020, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill that would require courts to waive the publication requirement for people seeking a name change. House Bill 427, introduced by state Del. Emily Shetty (D-Montgomery County), passed the House Judiciary Committee with a favorable report on 17 February. The full House then approved the bill in a unanimous 139-0 vote. Shetty testified at the bill’s initial hearing that it “removes a very antiquated requirement” to publish notice of name changes in local newspapers, mainly to notify creditors (but which, in the modern, digital era, will protect the privacy of transgender individuals and victims of domestic violence).

    The bill is now before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee for its first reading. If this version of the bill passes the Senate, it proceeds to Gov. Hogan’s desk where supporters are confident the Democratic legislative supermajority could override any potential veto.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 23, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Mexico: Marriage Equality Up-Date, Tlaxcala, Sonora

    Per LGBT Marriage News:


    The proposal to reform the Civil Code to permit marriage equality in Tlaxcala is about to be voted upon during the current session of the Tlaxcala Congress. The proposal was first introduced in October 2018 by the deputy, Miguel Ángel Covarrubias Cervantes (PRD), and according to a second deputy, Laura Flores Lozano (PRD), she now has the required number of votes to pass the measure.


    The Justice and Human Rights Committee of the Sonora Congress will be presenting the draft marriage equality legislation, as well as that to allow same-sex couples to adopt, to the full congress in the week just ahead, that is, 24-28 February 2020. The bill was originally introduced by the deputy, Yumiko Palomares Herrera (Morena), slightly more than 6 months ago.

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