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5/18 No SCOTUS decision in Title VII cases yet


This morning, the Supreme Court issued one decision in an argued case. The Court still has not issued its decisions in the Title VII LGBT employment discrimination cases. We’ll find out at the end of the week whether they’ll issue more decisions next week.


  • 1. dsmartinn89  |  May 19, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    A HUGE piece of info that I missed back in January: The (new) Inter-American Convention Against All forms of Discrimination and Intolerance, compiled and signed (which must be noted means general support, not adhesion or ratification) by at least 10 coutnried back in 2013, took over 7 years to enter into force, what happened on 02/20/2020 (lovely number, right?). This date was 30th calendar day after the Organisation of American States received the second notice confirming ratification – by Mexico, as Uruguay took the lead back in 2013.

  • 2. MDSItUk  |  May 19, 2020 at 2:31 pm


    1. Although sexual orientation and gender identity & expression are already protected catergories within the Intermaerican Human Rights System, they have only reached said status thanks to jurisprudence from, that is to say, interpretation of already "open-worded" by the IACAHR in 4 main cases: Atala Riffo & Daughters vs Chile -illegal deprivation of family rights inc. visitation rights becuase of a mother's sexual orientation-; Carlos Alberto Duque vs Colombia -a gay man being illegaly denied of his well-deserved survivor benefits after the passing away of his very long-term same-sex partner-; Homero Flor Freire vs Ecuador -illegal discharge from the Ecuadorian Armed Forces because of someone simply being "perceived as" gay by 3rd parties, and not even self-identiffied as a gay man; and very recently, in March this year, Azul Rojas Marin vs Peru -concerning the illegal detention, torture and abuse of a then gay man and now transgender woman-; whereas these catgories are now EXPLICITLY mentioned in a binding, written instrument.

    2. The new Convention fully encourages affirmative action to protect minorities.

    3. Fully mentions that, amongst the above groups, we have "sexual minorities".

    4. Defines "the principles of equality and nondiscrimination among human persons" as DYNAMIC concepts.

    5. Recognises that the "peaceful coexistence among religions in pluralistic societies and democratic states is based on respect for equality and nondiscrimination among religions and", more importantly, "ON A CLEAR SEPARATION between the laws of the state and religious tenets".

  • 3. MDSItUk  |  May 19, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    6. The new Convention confirms that "a pluralistic and democratic society MUST (NOT ONLY) RESPECT the cultural, linguistic, religious, gender and sexual identity of every person, whether belonging to a minority or not" BUT ALSO "CREATE the conditions that will enable that person to EXPRESSS, preserve, and DEVELOP his or her identity -capitals added by myself-;

    7. Highlights that the States are "ALARMED by the surge in hate crimes motivated by gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and other social conditions".

    8. And RECOGNISES the basic role that EDUCATION plays in promoting respect for human rights, equality, nondiscrimination, and tolerance.

    9. Perhaps more importantly, Art 2. fully defines "indirect discrimination" noting that, "when a SEEMINGLY NEUTRAL PROVISION -straight marriage for instance?-, criterion, or practice has the capacity to entail a particular disadvantage for persons belonging to a specific group, or puts them at a disadvantage, unless said provision, criterion, or practice has some reasonable and LEGITIMATE objective or justification under international human rights law".

    10. Art 4. – VIII gladly mentions that "Any discriminatory restriction on the enjoyment of the human rights enshrined -NOT ONLT- in applicable international and regional instruments -BUT ALSO ON- … IN THE JURISPRUDENCE of international and regional human rights courts, particularly those applicable to MINORITIES or groups that are in vulnerable situations and subject to discrimination".

  • 4. MDSItUk  |  May 19, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    11. Furthermore, the Convention confirms that it is a DUTY of States Parties to "consider as AGGRAVATING those acts that lead to multiple discrimination or acts of intolerance, i.e., any distinction, exclusion, or restriction based on two or more of the criteria set forth in Articles 1.1 and 1.3 of this Convention".

    12. Finally, it very cleverly includes an INTERPRETATION CLAUSE stressing that: * No provision of this Convention shall be interpreted as restricting or limiting a domestic law of any State Party that affords protections and guarantees equal to or greater than those established in this Convention…. and *Nothing in this Convention shall be interpreted as restricting or limiting international human rights conventions that afford equal or greater protections in this regard.

    Of course, so far only 2 countries have ratified it, but the important thing here is that the instrument is now ""alive"", open to signatures, and hence part of the "ius cogens" of the whole Inter-American Human Rights System. Needsless to say, the more countries that ratify it hte better. Indeed, Costa Rica for instance gave it parliamentary approval in 2019 so should now need the President's siganture and that's it. Also, Argentina is currently debating several new Anti-discrimination bills and might include this as an articule within any new Act.

    Source and further info:

    PS: Yup, dsmartinn89 is me with a new username

  • 5. MDSItUk  |  May 19, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Europe: Important Judgment of the European Justice Against Labour Discrimination.

    The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a judgment in which it establishes that public comments contrary to the hiring of gay/bi men are illegal if the person making them has any type of relationship with the processes of selection of personnel. And this EVEN IF the homophobic statements are NOT DIRECTED AGAINST SPECIFIC PEOPLE and without the need for the company to be looking for new employees at that time. The ruling is the response to the case of an Italian association that denounced a lawyer for claiming that he would not hire homosexuals in his Office. After internal appeals, the Italian Court of Cassation asked for the opinion of European Court, as it considered the latter competent to interpret EU legislation; and hence in July 2018 referred the case to it. The CJEU conclusion also applies even though at the time of making said affirmations "no personnel selection process was underway or scheduled", AS LONG AS the person making them has a relationship or EVEN INFLUENCE on these processes. Rete Lenford -the italian LGBTQI+ charity supporting the petitioners- has expressed its satisfaction with the ruling, which "sets the guiding criteria that must, from now on, involve all economic agents" in the fight against labor discrimination based on sexual orientation.

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  May 24, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Bisexual / Queer / Polyamorous symbols displayed with slogan "All should be free to love" in Washington, D.C.'s Historic Congressional Cemetery

    On this beautiful Memorial Day weekend, you may be visiting a cemetery. And if you happen to be visiting the Historic Congressional Cemetery by the Anacostia River in Washington DC, two spots of color on a certain headstone may catch your poly eye.

    The stone is that of US Navy Commander Alyce Grillet. Her grave is located in the Historic Congressional Cemetery's noted "Gay Corner," at the intersection of its Ingles Street and Henderson Street. According to the cemetery's LGBT walking-tour brochure, the Congressional Cemetery "is believed to be the world’s only cemetery with a Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender section. Although earlier LGBT burials are located in the Cemetery, the 'Gay Corner' began in 1988 with Leonard Matlovich." Matlovich was the Air Force Technical Sergeant who outed himself in 1975 in to challenge the military’s ban on gay service, the first US service member to do so.

    The military is now on board with gay rights. But polyamory, no matter how ethically and honorably carried out, is still grounds for court-martial and dismissal from the services, with loss of all benefits including retirement, if a superior finds out and has it in for you.

    But displaying it on your gravestone? Now, she is beyond reach.

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  May 25, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    France elects its first transgender mayor

    France's first transgender mayor has vowed to wake up her village in northern France after taking office at the weekend in a step hailed by activists as a breakthrough.

    Marie Cau vowed to develop social and environmental policies in the village of Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, located close to the Belgian border.

    France's gender equality minister Marlene Schiappa congratulated the freshly appointed mayor.'The visibility of trans people and the struggle against transphobia also takes place through the exercise of public and political responsibilities. Congratulations to Marie Cau!' Schiappa tweeted Sunday.

    Co-president of SOS Homophobie Veronique Godet said that Cau's election is a landmark in the history of trans people and French politics.

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