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SCOTUS news (not strictly LGBT-related)


There’s no new news yet on the Supreme Court’s decisions in the Title VII LGBT employment discrimination cases, but the Court did make a historic announcement today.

The Court announced that it will hear 10 arguments in 13 cases in May by teleconference, and that for the first time in history, there will be an audio live stream of the arguments. All of these cases were scheduled to be argued in March and April (along with others not included it today’s announcement) but those argument sittings were postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

None of the cases are LGBT-specific, but at least two deal with religious issues that could eventually impact LGBT people: one case is about the Trump administration’s expansion of the “conscience” exemption in the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, and another is about whether courts can get involved when Catholic schools fire or discriminate against teachers.

These cases should be decided by the end of June, unless the Court decides to expand the term. In previous terms, the Justices have finished their work by the beginning of July because they have had foreign trips, speaking engagements, and vacations planned for the summer. With the uncertainty over the virus, it’s not clear that they’d be able to travel, so they could potentially extend the term. We’ll post any new information.


  • 1. Mr Domain  |  April 14, 2020 at 3:24 am

    The coronavirus epidemic affects too much of our life.

  • 2. VIRick  |  April 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    California after the Coronavirus Stay-At-Home Order Ends

    Unlike Trump, who is mind-numbingly clueless, while flustering in ambiguity and contradictions, Gov. Gavin Newsom has already presented a clear, cogent outline as to what to expect whenever this "new-normal" can be phased out and, in carefully-timed stages, begin to be replaced by the post-pandemic reality:

    On Tuesday, 14 April 2020, as social distancing measures begin to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, California Gov. Gavin Newsom painted a picture of what life will probably be like in the state when officials determine they can begin to reopen businesses, schools, and other venues to the public.

    Whenever the stay-at-home orders are lifted, it won't be business as usual, the governor said at his daily press briefing. "Normal it will not be, at least until we have herd immunity and we have a vaccine," Newsom said.

    Reopening will only happen as new cases of the disease decline, Newsom said, and businesses and institutions show they can continue to curb the spread of the virus as they reopen. That means hospitals will have to remain prepared for a surge of patients, and businesses, schools, and childcare facilities will need to keep up physical distancing and other precautions.

    Among the specific criteria necessary for modifying or lifting stay-at-home orders will be the ability to test for the virus, conduct contact tracing, support people who are infected or exposed to COVID-19, and prevent infection in those who are at risk for more severe illness.

    In closing, Newsom reiterated that before Californians can start to see parts of the state reopen, they will need to keep staying home and practicing social distancing when out for essential needs.

  • 3. VIRick  |  April 15, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Waiting for Godot

    "Waiting for Godot," an existentialist play by Irish writer Samuel Beckett, published in 1952 in French as "En Attendant Godot," and first produced in 1953.

    The plot summary is simple to relate: Nothing happens. Yet, the same scene repeats itself over and over and over again. One day becomes the other, becomes the next. And still, nothing happens. But, there's nothing one can do. There is no escape, waiting for Godot.

    An adaptation:

    I am not there now, but a flotilla of mega-yachts have appeared in the bay, practically at my front door, or so I am told. Generically, I know who they are, but they do not know me. The ultra-rich frantically fleeing a world-wide pandemic, cavorting in the sun, gasping their last breath. And yet, nothing happens. There is nothing one can do now. There is no escape, waiting for Godot.

    I am in their place now, and they are in mine. This scene repeats itself, over and over and over again. The flotilla grows larger; but so does the pandemic. And yet, nothing happens. There is nothing one can do now. There is still no escape. Gasping their last breath, waiting for Godot.

    I was trapped in the post-hurricane madness in the same tiny place, in the same exact scene, as it repeated itself over and over and over again, no way in, no way out, and no place to go. Still, this scene repeated itself, over and over and over again. There was nothing one could do, as one day became the other became the next. Yet still, nothing happened, no escape, nowhere to go, no way out, waiting for Godot.

  • 4. bayareajohn  |  April 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Read "ON THE BEACH" by Nevil Shute.

    Also this:
    Every Day Is Exactly the Same
    by Nine Inch Nails

    I believe I can see the future
    'Cause I repeat the same routine
    I think I used to have a purpose
    But then again, that might have been a dream
    I think I used to have a voice
    Now I never make a sound
    I just do what I've been told
    I really don't want them to come around, oh no

    Every day is exactly the same
    Every day is exactly the same
    There is no love here and there is no pain
    Every day is exactly the same

    I can feel their eyes are watching
    In case I lose myself again
    Sometimes I think I'm happy here
    Sometimes, yet I still pretend

    Every day is exactly the same

  • 5. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 15, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    I had the pleasure to hear live in New Orleans Nine Inch Nails perform this at the Voodoo Music Festival in Nov-2013.

  • 6. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 15, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Rick, I enjoyed reading your adaptation of Waiting for Godot. It is a poignant allegory of our times.

  • 7. VIRick  |  April 15, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    On some levels, the adaptation is an allegory of our times, but on others, it is a very real, on-going experience, one that repeats itself over and over and over again, one day becomes the other, becomes the next:

    The multiple photos accompanying this article, taken on Saturday, 4 April 2020, one from a viewpoint near my house, clearly show the flotilla of mega-yachts with the ultra-rich, cavorting in the bay, a thousand miles from nowhere, with no escape, nowhere to go, waiting for Godot.

    Then, on 7 April, different day, different bays, same scene; 3 more photos overflowing with mega-yachts of the ultra-rich, a thousand miles from nowhere, with no escape, nowhere to go, waiting for Godot.

    But the beaches are closed now, by gubernatorial order, effective immediately, from 6 April 2020, and the occupants on these vessels have been ordered to shelter-in-place on board. The state of emergency, which began on 13 March, has been extended to 12 May. So, there's really no place to go, and no way out. And 4 other bays, already at capacity, are not even included in any of the photos, while the BVI remains under quarantine, no way in, no way out, waiting for Godot.

    I could have told these people they would become trapped there, with no escape, no way out, nowhere to go. And the scene will continue to repeat itself, over and over and over again. But who am I? I am in their place now, nowhere to go, waiting for Godot.

    But some positive news:

    USVI COVID-19 Count Unchanged For Past 5 Days

    As of 14 April 2020, as more and more test results come back, the number of Virgin Islanders confirmed positive is holding at 51, unchanged for the past five days. The proportion of tests coming back positive appears to be declining.

    And some bad news:

    CDC Extends ‘No Sail’ Order Until Mid-July

    On 14 April 2020, the Centers for Disease Control extended its “No Sail” order for cruise ships for an additional 100 days, which will delay the return of tourists and negatively affect business in the US Virgin Islands that count on the tourist traffic that cruise ships provide.

    The ban applies to all vessels under United States jurisdiction with the capacity to house 250 people, including crew, and with plans for an overnight or 24-hour stay. The original order was issued on 14 March.

    Note: We are actually 1107 miles from Miami, the nearest point of land on the US mainland, and roughly 450 miles north of Venezuela. These mega-yachts with the ultra-rich are coming down from the US mainland, avoiding foreign ports en route, "escaping" to the farthest reaches of US territory, but . . . re-read the first part, over and over and over again.

  • 8. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 14, 2020 at 5:48 am

    Upset Victory in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Gives Democrats a Lift

    Jill Karofsky, ousted the conservative incumbent, Justice Daniel Kelly.

    “Democrats scored a significant victory in Wisconsin on Monday night when a liberal challenger upset a Trump-backed incumbent to win a State Supreme Court seat, a down-ballot race that illustrated strong turnout and vote-by-mail efforts in a presidential battleground state.

    “The victory, by upward of 120,000 votes as of Monday night, came as a shock to Republicans and Democrats alike in Wisconsin…”

  • 9. scream4ever  |  April 14, 2020 at 9:42 am

    This is nothing but a good sign heading into November.

  • 10. VIRick  |  April 14, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    SNL: Kate McKinnon's RBG Impression Works Her Tuchus in Lockdown

    Utilizing video conferencing, Saturday Night Live went virtual for the first time since it premiered in 1975, with cast members offering a peek into their life under shelter-in-place orders in the opening credits. Forced to create costumes out of what they had on hand, Kate McKinnon pulled together a workout outfit for her Ruth Bader Ginsburg impression that included a sweatshirt with a neckline reminiscent of the Supreme Court robe she wears, with the phrase, "Super Diva!" emblazoned on it.

    "Today we're going to be working all of the major muscle groups of the body like the abs, gams, tuchus, chicken wings, and critical thinking," McKinnon's Ginsburg says. Nodding to Ginsburg's petite frame, McKinnon introduces her workout equipment, which includes Q-Tips, dental floss, and teabags. “These are my punching bags, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch,” she says, holding up the teabags.

    "I survived cancer four times. I went to law school during the Spanish flu. Beat it," McKinnon's Ginsburg says, before turning to her cat loitering by the doorway. "That’s my trainer. If I mess up, he eats me," she says.

    It wouldn't be McKinnon's Ginsburg without some Ginsburns. "I’m training for the 2021 Olympics. I’m going to do mental gymnastics to figure out why they cut the pandemic response team in 2018," she says. "That's a Ginsburn."

  • 11. VIRick  |  April 14, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    US Supreme Court to Teleconference Oral Arguments in May 2020

    Per Equality Case Files:

    For the first time, the US Supreme Court will hold oral arguments via teleconference next month, (4-13 May 2020,) the court announced on Monday,13 April, including the cases involving Trump’s legal battle to keep congressional committees and a New York prosecutor from obtaining his financial records.

    Also among the 13 cases to be heard are "Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru" and "St. James School v. Biel," two cases that look at which teachers at religious schools should fall under the "ministerial exception" that shields the schools from complying with non-discrimination laws in employment.

    The Court's announcement, with the full list of cases to be heard in this manner, is here:

    In addition to the three cases involving Trump's financial records, why is he also suing the state of Pennsylvania (19-454)? Did someone in that state forget to bow down to him?

  • 12. VIRick  |  April 14, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Virginia: Defiant Pastor Who Kept Church Open Despite Pandemic, Dies from COVID-19

    Evangelical pastors nationwide have repeatedly flouted federal and state guidelines temporarily banning gatherings of more than ten people, put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Zealots in Florida and Louisiana have been arrested for violating such orders.

    Misguided, ignorant preachers (also known as covidiots) nationwide have continued to hold in-person services despite the deadly risk to their congregations, but a Virginia pastor who vowed to keep his church open and to keep preaching “unless I’m in jail or the hospital” has died a week after preaching his last defiant service.

    Bishop Gerald O. Glenn of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, Richmond VA, opened the doors to worshippers on 22 March 2020 and gave his last sermon. He told the congregation that “people are healed” in his church and are not harmed. But a week later, the minister had died from COVID-19. His wife is now also sick.….

  • 13. VIRick  |  April 14, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Puerto Rico: Upcoming LGBT Pride Events Postponed Due to COVID-19

    Per Pedro Julio Serrano:

    La pandemia del coronavirus, que nos afecta a todos, nos obliga a posponer Boquerón Orgullo y Orgullo Arcoíris de San Juan en miras de velar por la salud, la seguridad, y el bienestar de nuestras comunidades LGBTTIQ y aliadas.

    The coronavirus pandemic, which affects us all, forces us to postpone Boquerón Orgullo and Orgullo Arcoíris de San Juan in order to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our LGBTTIQ and allied communities.

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 15, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    Idaho Sued over Law, HB 500, Barring Trans Athletes in Sports

    Today, Wednesday, 15 April 2020, the ACLU, the ACLU of Idaho, Legal Voice, and Cooley LLP, filed suit in the federal district court for Idaho, with a 60-page complaint challenging Idaho’s newly-enacted law barring transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports. Among the plaintiffs in the litigation is Lindsay Hecox, a 19-year-old woman attending Boise State University who seeks to participate in the intercollegiate track and cross-country teams at the school.

    HB 500, quietly signed into law last month by Idaho Gov. Brad Little amid the coronavirus epidemic, is the first and only state law in the country that bars transgender athletes from participating in school sports. Similar anti-trans measures, however, have been percolating in state legislatures throughout the country.

    Dubbed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” HB 500 requires college and public school sports teams to be designed as male, female and co-ed — and any female athletic team “shall not be open to students of the male sex.” In the event of a dispute, a student may be required to produce a physician’s statement to affirm her biological sex based on reproductive anatomy, normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone, and an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup. That would effectively ban transgender athletes from participating in sports.

    Another plaintiff in the lawsuit, anonymously referred to as Jane Doe, is a non-trans female athlete at Boise High School who seeks to try out for soccer in August 2020, but fears she could be forced to provide documentation about her sex under HB 500 and believes that would violate “her privacy and security, both emotionally and physically, if she continues to play sports.”

    According to the lawsuit, existing rules in Idaho prior to HB 500 already required transgender girls to “complete one year of hormone treatment related to the gender transition before competing on a girls team.” Further, there were no reported issues with the administration of that rule or its effect on athletics in Idaho, the complaint says. “We’re suing because HB 500 illegally targets women and girls who are transgender and intersex, and subjects all female athletes to the possibility of invasive genital and genetic screenings,” Gabriel Arkles, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project said in a statement.

    The lawsuit challenges the law on the basis that it violates the rights to equal protection and due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; the prohibition on unconstitutional search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars discrimination in schools on the basis of sex; and the “lack of fair notice” principle of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The complaint, "Hecox v. Little," filed on 15 April 2020 in the federal district court for Idaho, and assigned to Judge Candy W. Dale, is here:

    Note: Judge Dale is the same federal judge who overturned Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage.

  • 15. VIRick  |  April 15, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Idaho: Next Lawsuit; HB 509, Barring the Change of Gender Marker on Birth Certificates

    HB 500 was only one of two anti-trans bills Gov. Little signed into law in March 2020. The other was HB 509, which bars transgender people in Idaho from changing the gender marker on their birth certificates consistent with their gender identity.

    Little signed that measure into law in direct defiance of a 2018 court order requiring Idaho to allow transgender individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificates. The LGBTQ legal group, Lambda Legal, obtained that previous court order and threatened additional legal action if HB 509 were passed.

    HB 509 has now passed and been signed into law. A Lambda Legal spokesperson told the "Washington Blade" that action against HB 509 “could happen pretty soon.”

  • 16. VIRick  |  April 16, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Liechtenstein: Constitutional Court Rules against Marriage Equality, but in favor of Step-Child Adoption

    Per Marriage Equality News:

    Several years ago, an LGBT couple in Liechtenstein sued for marriage equality; in December 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled against them on this matter. However, in the same judgment, the court also ruled that the ban on step-child adoption, as found in Article 25 of the Liechtenstein Partnership Act (im liechtensteinischen Partnerschaftsgesetz in Artikel 25) was unconstitutional. The government at the time did not commit to fixing it.

    Per "Liechtensteiner Vaterland," dated 7 December 2019:

    Lukas und Dario wollten heiraten, dürfen aber nicht.

    Das Partnerschaftsgesetz verstösst in Teilen gegen die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention, doch die Regierung plant keine Abänderung.

    Sie wollten heiraten, statt sich «nur» eintragen zu lassen. Deshalb gingen Lukas Oehri und sein Partner Dario Kleeb durch den Instanzenzug, um auf juristischem Weg herauszufinden, ob das aktuelle Partnerschaftsgesetz nicht diskriminierend ausgestaltet ist. Der Staatsgerichtshof gab ihnen zu diesem Umstand zwar nicht recht, fand aber an anderer Stelle einen diskriminierenden Absatz: Im Urteil StGH 2018/154 schreibt der StGH, dass das Verbot der Stiefkindadoption für eingetragene Paare gegen die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention, kurz EMRK, verstosse.

    Lukas and Dario wanted to marry, but are not allowed.

    In part, the Liechtenstein Partnership Law violates the European Convention on Human Rights, but the government is not planning to change it.

    They wanted to marry instead of "only" being registered. That is why Lukas Oehri and his partner Dario Kleeb went through the legal process to find out whether or not the current partnership law is discriminatory. The State Court (Staatsgerichtshof) did not agree with this challenge, but found a discriminatory paragraph elsewhere: In the StGH 2018/154 judgment, the StGH writes that the prohibition of stepchild adoption for registered couples violates the European Convention on Human Rights, or ECHR for short.

    Further down in the judgment it states:

    Der Staatsgerichtshof als Verfassungsgericht meint dazu.

    The (Liechtenstein) State Court as a Constitutional Court thinks so.

    This comment indicates that the same body functions as a dual-purpose court.

  • 17. scream4ever  |  April 16, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Liechtenstein will have same sex marriage after it's legalized in Switzerland.

  • 18. VIRick  |  April 16, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Yes, given this recent ruling, same-sex marriage in Liechtenstein will have to wait until after it has been legalized in Switzerland. However, in re-visiting and re-interpreting that same ruling, handed down in early December 2019, it seems quite possible that the matter of adoption for same-sex couples as registered partners in Liechtenstein may come sooner.

    As in Switzerland and Italy (and in Austria before marriage equality), the courts have effectively separated the two issues of marriage and adoption from each other, thus pushing adoption ahead of marriage. A fresh look at the Liechtenstein ruling indicates that the court there is also viewing it in this manner, telling the government that a portion of the Partnership Act concerning adoption is unconstitutionally discriminatory and needs to be up-dated.

  • 19. VIRick  |  April 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Bosnia and Herzegovina: Same-Sex Couples May Gain Partnership Rights

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is taking the first steps to bringing in partnership rights for same-sex couples.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of two partially self-governing entities, of which the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one, covering about 51% of the country. The Federation has a population of mostly Bosniaks and Croats, with a Serb minority. Meanwhile, Bosnia’s other major entity, the Republika Srpska, with its majority Serbian population, is not considering a similar initiative.

    The Federation Interior Ministry has proposed that the government move forward on same-sex couples rights, in response to demands from couples who have married or registered their relationships abroad. The Federation has appointed an inter-departmental working group to look at partnership rights. Sead Lisak, chair of the group, said it would hold its first session in April. The group will then meet with civil society organizations to discuss issues for same-sex couples. After that, it will draft legislation.

    Gay sex is legal with an equal age of consent. And Bosnia provides protection from discrimination in relation to goods, services, and employment. Trans people can legally change gender. And lesbian, gay, and bi people can serve in the armed forces. Further legal liberalization is likely as Bosnia wants to join the European Union.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  April 16, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    As the majority of citizens in Bosnia and Herzogovina professes the Islamic faith, the advent of legally recognized same-sex partnerships there is of great worldwide significance. If further progress is made and same-sex marriage is legalized there, this would be a shot heard across the entire Islamic world.

  • 21. DevilWearsZrada  |  April 17, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Actually, there already is a Muslim majority territory where same-sex marriage is legal, that is a French overseas department Mayotte, located between Madagascar and Mozambique, with population about 280,000. Although this fact is due to the whole of France legalising same-sex marriage in April 2013, out of three members of French Parliament representing Mayotte two ones voted in favour (one of two senators voted against). The first same-sex marriage there was performed in September 2013 and in the first four years of legalisation there were about 240 marriages of same-sex couples.
    Anyway, when the FBiH legalises even some kind of same-sex partnerships by the decision of FBiH lawmakers only it will be another historic first for LGBT rights.

  • 22. VIRick  |  April 16, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Chile: Constitutional Tribunal Rejects Registration of Spanish Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Alessia Injoque, Fundación Iguales, y "El Mercurio," el 16 de abril 2020:

    En una votación estrecha, cinco votos contra cuatro, el Tribunal Constitucional rechaza el caso de inscripción del matrimonio realizado entre dos mujeres en España, de Cecilia y Cristina, y también niega a una de ellas la maternidad de su hijo recién nacido.

    La mayoría dice que es constitucional el artículo del matrimonio entre una mujer y un hombre y que, además, las leyes chilenas protegen la familia por la unión civil (AUC).

    In a close vote, by a 5-4 decision, the Constitutional Court rejects the case of the registration of the marriage carried out between two women in Spain, Cecilia and Cristina, and also denies one of them (the non-birth mother) the maternity of her newborn son.

    The majority stated that the article concerning marriage between a woman and a man is constitutional and that, in addition, Chilean laws protect the family by way of the civil union (AUC).

    This close court decision dashes the last hope that Chile would beat Switzerland in the snail-paced race to marriage equality, one which Switzerland now ought to eventually win, almost by default, despite the multiple hurdles it still faces.

    About the only good news one can find in this decision lies in the fact that the Constitutional Tribunal, as per its usual habit, quickly issued a ruling in a very timely manner, unlike many other Latin American courts, who are notorious for sitting on difficult/controversial cases, leaving them undecided for endless years.

    One can recall at least two other court cases which were identical to the present one in Chile, wherein which two women married in Spain. In both instances, like in the present case, one of the two women was a Spanish citizen, while the spouse in one was a citizen of Colombia, in the other, a citizen of Costa Rica, and in the present case, of Chile.

    In Colombia, the court ruled in favor of the couple, and in the process, ruled in favor of the recognition of all valid foreign marriages, a major precursor to their marriage equality ruling. In Costa Rica, the court also ruled in favor of the couple, in a ruling tied together with a number of other cases in their singular landmark decision in favor of marriage equality. On the other hand, the court in Chile appears to think that Chilean civil unions (AUC) are already the same thing as marriage. However, the court in Ecuador, another country which once had separate civil unions for same-sex couples, would disagree. There, in yet another landmark ruling, civil unions were abolished in favor of marriage equality, leaving Chile to remain as the sole Latin nation with this duality.

    AUC = Acuerdo de Unión Civil

  • 23. VIRick  |  April 17, 2020 at 11:06 am

    DC Extends Coronavirus Closings to 15 May

    On Wednesday, 15 April 2020, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that she has extended the city’s emergency order requiring all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, to shut down on-site operations until at least 15 May. The extension came in the form of a new mayoral order that extends the city’s state of emergency and public health emergency in order to assist in DC’s effort to control the spread of the coronavirus.

    The new order, which Bowser announced at a news conference, also expands her earlier order requiring the wearing of a face mask or face covering for employees, customers, and visitors of hotels, retail food sellers, taxis, ride-sharing companies, and other private transportation providers.

    At the time the new order was announced, the mayor’s office released its latest coronavirus data for the previous day, 14 April, which included 139 new positive coronavirus cases, bringing the city’s overall positive case total as of that date to 2,197. The new data included five new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the city’s total COVID-19 deaths to 72. The city’s latest coronavirus data show that 54 of the individuals who have died, or 75 percent, are African-Americans.

    Among the businesses forced to close during the emergency are the city’s 12 gay bars and one gay nightclub. Like all other DC nightclubs, the gay nightclub Ziegfeld’s-Secrets is not allowed to provide carryout food or beverage service under city rules that nightlife advocates have called unfair and unnecessary.

    Since Ziegfeld’s-Secrets has not provided on-site food service during its many years of operations, it was not expected to attempt to provide carryout service during the shutdown period. But a number of other nightclubs, including the LGBTQ-friendly DC9 on U Street, NW, have called on the city to change its ban on carryout food and beverage service for nightclubs. Bars and restaurants are allowed to provide carryout or delivery services. Many of them are doing that, saying it is providing them with income to hold them over until the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

    However, similar to about a dozen other DC nightclubs that provide nude dance performers, Ziegfeld’s-Secrets, which has nude male dance performers, is among the clubs that are ineligible to apply for DC emergency grants to assist businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • 24. VIRick  |  April 17, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Louisiana: Church Member Bussed in to Defy COVID-19 Lockdown Dies of COVID-19

    Louisiana Pastor Tony Spell has been in the national headlines for the past few weeks because of his refusal to follow his state’s ban on large gatherings. He was arrested in late March, and, still defiant, he continued to bus in parishioners for church services. On 12 April, Easter, his church held a massive service with 1100 attendees in seven different buildings.

    On Wednesday, 15 April 2020, a member of his church, Harold Orillion, died of COVID-19, one of six people in the Baton Rouge area to die from it that day, while his lawyer, Jeff Wittenbrink, hired to defend Spell's "religious freedom," has now been hospitalized due to complications from the disease, and is on oxygen, with a high fever and a severe cough. Wittenbrink attended a press event at Life Tabernacle Church on 2 April and a service at the church on 5 April.

    Spell runs the Life Tabernacle Church near Baton Rouge, and has been touring the media to denounce his state’s Stay-at-Home order, one which does not contain a religious exemption.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  April 17, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Netflix slammed as ‘Islam’s enemy’ by bigots over rumours of gay character in Turkish teen drama

    New Turkish coming-of-age drama Love 101, which is set to begin on April 24, unleashed a torrent of fury over unconfirmed rumours that it will feature a gay character.

    The Love 101 rumours have fuelled a homophobic moral panic in the country.

    The president of the Radio and Television Supreme Council Ebubekir Sahin made clear: “We will not tolerate broadcasts that are contrary to the national and spiritual values ​​of our society.”

    In June 2019, police clad in riot gear fired tear gas at Istanbul Pride marchers to disrupt the event, marking the fifth year the event has been prevented from going ahead.

  • 26. VIRick  |  April 18, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Nevada: Referendum to Remove Outdated Marriage Language from State Constitution

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Having already twice-passed in two consecutive sessions of the state legislature, as a final step in its removal, a referendum on striking the now-defunct LGBT marriage ban from the Nevada state constitution will take place on 3 November 2020, in conjunction with the general election:

    Question 2 is a proposal to amend the state constitution to require the recognition of all marriages regardless of gender. The Nevada Constitution currently reads that only marriages between a male and a female person can be recognized by the state. That position became unenforceable in 2015 with the Supreme Court’s "Obergefell v Hodges" decision, which legalized same-sex marriage nationally.

    Beyond cleaning up the outdated language of the state constitution, this proposal also establishes the rights of religious organizations and members of the clergy to refuse to perform marriages on the basis of gender or other factors. The specifics on the proposed amendment are detailed in the Assembly's 2017 Joint Resolution 2.

  • 27. DevilWearsZrada  |  April 19, 2020 at 2:56 am

    When will California follow? As far as I know, there needs to be a single vote by the legislature for this question to be placed on the ballot.

  • 28. scream4ever  |  April 19, 2020 at 9:42 am

    They already did that after the Perry v Brown case ended. It's complicated to describe but they were able to change the language without a vote from the people. Virginia should be the one to follow suit next.

  • 29. VIRick  |  April 19, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Virginia Repeals Statutory Ban on Same-Sex Marriages/Civil Unions

    On 28 January 2020, in a 63-34 vote, the state House of Delegates approved a bill (HB 1490) to repeal articles 20-45.2 and 20-45.3 of the Code of Virginia, which banned same-sex marriage and civil unions. On 17 February, the bill passed the Senate, 28 votes to 12. It was signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam on 3 March 2020. The measure will take effect from 1 July 2020.

    Obviously, in Virginia, no referendum is required in order for this statutory repeal to take effect. However, the state of Virginia "double-banned" same-sex marriage. Thus, the removal of the unenforceable language from the Virginia state Constitution is an entirely different, and much more complex, matter. Some history:

    On 26 February 2005, the House of Delegates voted 79-17 in favor of a state constitutional amendment, known as the Marshall-Newman Amendment, that would ban same-sex marriage and any "legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage." That same day, the Virginia State Senate voted 30-10 in favor of the constitutional amendment.

    An amendment to the Constitution of Virginia requires approval by two succeeding elected legislatures, followed by a voter referendum. As such, on 13 January 2006, the House of Delegates again voted 73-22 in favor of the amendment, and on 17 February, the State Senate also voted 29-11 in favor. On 7 November 2006, voters approved said constitutional amendment, which took effect from 1 January 2007.

    This state constitutional amendment has not yet been repealed. However, whenever the Virginia Assembly gets around to it, the same 3-step process would have to be followed in order to undo that amendment.,– approval by two succeeding state legislatures, followed by a voter referendum.

    Similarly, in Nevada, based on Nevada state law, changing the state constitution is the same 3-step process, of which the first two steps there have already been successfully completed. In the third step, the repeal must be approved by the voters in a referendum. This same 3-step process was followed when they first inserted the same-sex marriage ban into the Nevada (or Virginia) state constitution. Thus, the same 3-step process must be followed to undo it.

    So, in comparing the two states, despite the fact that Virginia has been very busy playing "catch up" on numerous LGBT-related issues, Nevada is actually much further along in undoing the left-over damage of the "W" years.

    Note: The "Marshall" in the Marshall-Newman Amendment refers to Del. Bob Marshall (R), the hideously retrograde anti-LGBT "old-fart" scourge from Prince William County who Danica Roem (D) decisively defeated in a contest which attracted national attention, and whose win overflowed with poetic justice.

  • 30. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 19, 2020 at 5:17 am

    This issue should not have to be submitted to the referendum process. The existing language is unconstitutional, period. The religious exemption does not have to be there either, because it is already in the Obergefell v Hodges opinion.

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  April 19, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Constitutional bans must be repealed wherever possible. Obergefell can be overturned and there are at least 2 or 3 scotus justices (thomas, gorsuch, alito) who have shown fervor to do so.

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