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3/9 open thread UPDATED 3/11


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

UPDATE 3/11: The Eleventh Circuit has ruled against an incarcerated woman who is transgender and wants to wear correct clothes and use correct grooming standards for her gender. The court decided that denial of that treatment doesn’t violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.


  • 1. VIRick  |  March 9, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Canada: On Brink of Nationwide Ban on "Conversion Therapy"

    On Monday, 9 March 2020, David Lametti, the nation’s justice minister, and Bardish Chagger, the minister of diversity and youth, introduced a bill to restrict "conversion therapy" nationally, CTV News reports. Lametti called the proposal the “most progressive and comprehensive in the world” in seeking to limit the discredited and harmful practice of trying to turn LGBTQ people straight or cisgender.

    The legislation, Bill S-206, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Conversion Therapy), would make it illegal to cause a minor to undergo conversion therapy; to remove a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy in another country; cause a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will; profit from providing conversion therapy; or advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy, according to a press release from Lametti’s office.

    The bill would not make it a criminal offense to “provide support to persons questioning their sexual orientation, sexual feelings, or gender identity,” the legislation states. The federal government also agreed to work with local and provincial governments on conversion therapy regulation; as several of them have enacted their own bans.

    Brasil, Ecuador, Malta, and Taiwan have nationwide bans on conversion therapy. In the USA, 20 states and more than 70 cities and counties have made it illegal for licensed professionals to subject minors to the practice, and some survivors of such therapy have successfully sued their former therapists under state consumer fraud laws.

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 9, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Ohio LGBTQ Civil Rights Bill May Finally Pass

    Ohio has yet to pass statewide anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, leaving the majority of Ohio cities without protection in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The Ohio Fairness Act, as proposed in companion bills, Senate Bill 11 and House Bill 369, would amend Ohio’s Civil Rights Law to prohibit discrimination in these categories and to grant the Ohio Civil Rights Commission the power to mediate such cases informally.

    “It is a fair proposal that will simply give people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender the same freedom to work, the same freedom to live where they choose, and the same full equal participation in society, just as anyone else in Ohio,” testified Ohio Sen. Nickie Antonio (D), the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 11. “It has been over 50 years since we have updated the Civil Rights Act. And for the estimated 400,000 LGBT Ohioans, fairness is long overdue.”

    The "Columbus Dispatch" reported in 2019 that bills seeking discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity have been introduced in every session of the Ohio Legislature since 2003, though none have passed in both the Ohio House and Senate. One version of the law passed in the House in 2009, but failed to become law after being rejected by the Senate.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  March 9, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    The National Labor Relations Board is seeking under the Trump administration to axe LGBTQ non-discrimination language — as well as protections based on race, sex and religion — from its union contract with professional attorneys within the U.S. agency as part of collective-bargaining negotiations, according to union representatives.

    “Trump’s administration has tried from the start to purge all mention of LGBTQ rights from federal law and policy,” Raskin said. “Now, by proposing to eliminate protections for LGBTQ employees from its collective bargaining agreements, the NLRB — which is supposed to be a leader for workplace fairness—becomes the latest perpetrator of the administration’s political assault on equal protection and equal employment rights for the LGBTQ community.”

    “As taxpayers, we should expect that all working people — including LGBTQ working people — would be protected from discrimination in a federal government job,” Davis said. “But it is particularly insulting that these protections are being stripped from the working people who protect our country’s workforce from unfair labor practices. There is little that has been consistent with this administration, but their attacks on LGBTQ people have come regularly, like clockwork.”

  • 4. VIRick  |  March 9, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Spain: HIV Medication Has Been Used to Cure Coronavirus

    A drug commonly used to manage HIV was successfully used to treat a man with coronavirus. The Spanish newspaper, "El País," reports that Miguel Ángel Benítez, 62, was successfully treated for coronavirus at a hospital in Sevilla with lopinavir/ritonavir (marketed as Kaletra), a protease inhibitor.

    “It’s an experimental usage of the drug that has given good results with other viruses,” said Albert Bosch, president of the Spanish Virology Society. “One of the biggest advantages is that they are already approved for use, so there is little doubt about their safety.”

    Protease inhibitors are antiviral drugs that bind to certain enzymes necessary to produce parts of the virus, inhibiting production of the virus in cells. Kaletra was paired with interferon beta, a signaling protein that cells produce when they are infected and that increases resistance to viruses.

    “The results we have so far for the use of these drugs to treat coronavirus give us hope,” said Santiago Moreno, head of infectious diseases at Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid. Of course, success in one case does not mean that the medications will work for everyone, and further testing and research is needed.

  • 5. VIRick  |  March 10, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    New York State: Transgender Minors Now Able to Change Gender Marker

    Per New York State Attorney-General:

    Following a case brought on behalf of a brave transgender minor, we took action to enact a new policy in New York, effective immediately (10 March 2020), that allows transgender minors to correct the sex designation on their birth certificates if they were born in New York State.

    Note: The federal lawsuit in question was filed on 7 January 2020 in the Northern District of New York at Albany by Lambda Legal on behalf of a transgender teen, M.H.W.

  • 6. VIRick  |  March 10, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Mexico: Supreme Court: Amparo de Revisión Against Aguascalientes, A Reminder

    Per Suprema Corte‏ (SCJN), el 9 de marzo 2020:

    Hijos de parejas homoparentales tienen derecho a la filiación jurídica. Se debe respetar la voluntad de una persona para reconocer a un hijo con quien no hay vínculo biológico y privilegiar la estabilidad familiar.
    AR 852/2017

    Children of homoparental couples have the right to legal parental affiliation. It is necessary to respect the wishes of a person in their recognizing a child with whom there is no biological bond so as to privilege family stability.
    AR 852/2017

  • 7. VIRick  |  March 10, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Kentucky: Newport Is Municipality #20 to Pass Fairness Ordinance

    In Kentucky, Newport is the 20th municipality and the 6th in Campbell County, facing Cincinnati, to pass a fairness ordinance. Since 1991, the Fairness Campaign has worked to get cities and counties around the commonwealth to pass such LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinances. To date, these are all the places in Kentucky to have done so:

    •Louisville – 1999
    •Lexington – 1999
    •Covington – 2003
    •Vicco – 2013
    •Frankfort – 2013
    •Morehead – 2013
    •Danville – 2014
    •Midway -2015
    •Paducah – 2018
    •Maysville – 2018
    •Henderson – 2019
    •Dayton – 2019
    •Georgetown – 2019
    •Versailles – 2019
    •Bellevue – 2019
    •Highland Heights – 2019
    •Fort Thomas – 2020
    •Woodford County – 2020
    •Cold Springs – 2020
    •Newport – 2020

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  March 10, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    LGBTQ association achieves major legal milestone in Tunisia

    In a first for Tunisia and the Arab world, Shams, an association founded in early 2015 to defend LGBTQ rights, was granted legal protection in a ruling handed down Feb. 21 by Tunisia's Court of Cassation following the state's attempts to shut down the organization.

    According to Bochra Belhaj Hmida, a former parliamentarian and chairperson of the Individual Freedoms and Equality Committee — created in August 2017 by President Beji Caid Essebsi to report on proposed legislative reforms on private and public rights and freedoms — the judiciary’s decision in favor of Shams is a “legal and judicial revolution” in post-revolution Tunisia.

    Hmida told Al-Monitor how proud she was, as a human rights activist, that the judiciary had shown itself to be independent, free of political pressure, in handing an association defending gay rights a victory by legalizing its presence. Hmida stressed that the decision is a positive first step in that efforts at decriminalizing homosexuality and abolishing anal examinations can now be pursued within the framework of the jurisprudence of that case.

    With this legal victory, Shams joins other LGBTQ associations in Muslim-majority countries in the region that have defied prevailing social attitudes in pursuit of human rights. In another example, in Turkey, 17 Mayis (17 May) was established at the end of February to defend the rights of the country's LGBTQ community. Its name refers to May 17, 1990, when the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental illness.

  • 9. VIRick  |  March 11, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    South Carolina: Federal Court Settlement Ends Ban on LGBTQ Discussion in Schools

    On 11 March 2020, in "Gender and Sexuality Alliance v. Spearman," a federal suit filed by Lambda Legal and NCLR on 26 February 2020, the state of South Carolina has settled said suit against its ban on discussing LGBTQ people in school sex education curricula, and has agreed to no longer enforce state law on this matter. LGBTQ organizations hailed the ruling, saying that the law was discriminatory because it singled out LGBTQ people and that it effectively encouraged bullying in schools.

    The 1988 South Carolina law bans schools from discussing “alternate sexual lifestyles from heterosexual relationships,” specifically “homosexual relationships.” The law allows for LGBTQ people to be discussed “in the context of instruction concerning sexually transmitted diseases,” presumably to reinforce the association of LGBTQ people and disease. The coalition of LGBTQ organizations which filed suit in February 2020 has now caused the state to stop enforcing the law.

    Judge David Norton signed the consent decree for the settlement which also orders the state superintendent of schools to circulate a memo to all school districts to inform them that the state law should no longer be taken into consideration when deciding curricula.

    Note: With this federal court settlement, one more state's so-called "No Promo Homo" law bites the dust.

  • 10. VIRick  |  March 11, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Largest City in State, to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Raymundo Moreno:

    Mi reconocimiento a mi amigo y compañero de lucha, Víctor Manuel Romart. Estamos cerca de lograr que el matrimonio igualitario sea una realidad en Fresnillo. Saludo al Presidente (alcalde) Saúl Monreal A. y a su equipo. En la Red de Colectivos y Zacatecas AC, seguiremos el proceso con atención.

    My appreciation to my friend and partner in the fight, Víctor Manuel Romart. We are about to have marriage equality be a reality in Fresnillo. I congratulate President (mayor) Saúl Monreal A. and his team. At the Red de Colectivos y Zacatecas AC, we will attentively follow the process.

    Per Diversidad Sexual de Zacatecas:

    Noticia de último momento!!
    Se abre la posibilidad a que se realice una ceremonia de matrimonio igualitario en el Municipio de Fresnillo con todo el apoyo del Ayuntamiento.

    ¿Vives en Fresnillo y te interesa? Ingresa al grupo de WhatsApp.

    Last-minute news!!
    The possibility has opened for an equal marriage ceremony to be realized in the Municipality of Fresnillo with the full support of the City Council.

    Do you live in Fresnillo and does it interest you? Enter the WhatsApp group.

    Note: Fresnillo is the most-populous municipality in Zacatecas state. The second-most populous, the state capital, Ciudad Zacatecas, as a municipality, has already authorized marriage equality in conformity with Supreme Court jurisprudence. Fresnillo is now following suit, becoming the 4th municipality in the state to do so.

    In 2013, Fresnillo was the first, and for some time, the only municipality in all of Mexico to have elected an openly gay individual as mayor, Benjamín Medrano Quezada (PRI).

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