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SCOTUS update 6/2-6/4


Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued five decisions in argued cases. They still haven’t released the decisions in the Title VII LGBT employment discrimination cases. We’ll report back when we know which day(s) next week the Court might issue more decisions.

UPDATE 6/4: SCOTUS is issuing more decisions on Monday, June 8.


  • 1. Fortguy  |  June 2, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Primary elections were held in Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and D.C. last night (June 2). The biggest headline is that the first congressional incumbent to be defeated in a primary so far is none other than Iowa's bigot extraordinaire Rep. Steve King who has been abandoned by his party for not understanding the difference between a bullhorn and a dog whistle when espousing fascist, homophobic, and white-supremacist beliefs. Feel free to do your happy dance before following the links below.

    Ally Mutnick, James Arkin and Zach Montellaro, Politico: Steve King ousted on historic primary night

    A summary of other important elections is here:

    Politico: June 2 primary results

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  June 3, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    I wouldnt do any happy dance. With King as the nominee democrats were in with a chance for this otherwise safe R seat. Now it will stay red. Not that it matters for the majority in the house but it would be a nice seat for Ds to claim.

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 3, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Costa Rica: 82 Same-Sex Couples Have Married through First Week of Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Hasta ahora, 82 parejas del mismo sexo han unido sus vidas y esperan registro de sus matrimonios. El Registro Civil está constantemente actualizando los datos; contabiliza 40 uniones celebradas en territorio nacional, siete han ingresado a través de un servicio en línea (de cualquier procedencia), y 35 se han realizado (previamente) en el extranjero. El pasado 25 de mayo, un día antes de entrar en vigencia el matrimonio igualitario, se contabilizaban 55 solicitudes de registro. (Por lo tanto, otras 27 parejas del mismo sexo se han casado en Costa Rica desde la legalización.)

    To date, 82 same-sex couples have joined their lives and await the registration of their marriages. The Civil Registry is constantly updating the data; it counts 40 unions celebrated within national territory, seven have accessed through an online service (of whatever provenance), and 35 have been (previously) performed abroad. On 25 May, one day before marriage equality came into force, there had been 55 applications for registration. (Thus, an additional 27 same-sex couples have married within Costa Rica since legalization.)

    Note: Same-sex couples have been marrying in Costa Rica ever since the Sala IV court ruling was announced, in quiet anticipation of eventual legalization. All such applications for subsequent registration by the Civil Registry are now being processed, regardless of date or location.

  • 4. VIRick  |  June 3, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Switzerland: Another Small Step Forward for Marriage Equality Legislation

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Parliament has launched discussions on a proposal to allow same-sex marriage, bringing Switzerland in line with most other western European countries. On Wednesday, 3 June 2020, the House of Representatives agreed in principle to full marriage equality for homosexual couples.

    Debate, including the right for lesbian couples to sperm donations, is set to continue over the next few days. Observers expect the bill to pass in the House, but approval by the Senate at a later stage is somewhat less certain.

  • 5. VIRick  |  June 6, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Chile: TC Issues its Homophobic Written Decision Rejecting Marriage Equality

    On 4 June 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal of Chile issued the written decision of its previously announced 5-4 decision against marriage equality. The case in question involved a request for the legal recognition of a duly-performed marriage in Spain between a Spanish citizen and a Chilean citizen. The case further requested the legal recognition of the co-maternity of the two women involved so that their child, born in Chile through in vitro fertilization, would thus enjoy the legal recognition of having two parents.

    It would be a high compliment to state that the judicial "reasoning" found in the instant decision was merely ignorant and irrational, as there was absolutely no legal reasoning based on any sort of precedent or legal case history. Instead, one finds an appallingly homophobic polemic, one which claims, in a fantasy scenario, that to legally recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex to be tantamount to recognizing polygamy and/or marriage with children, neither of which were contemplated nor sought in the lawsuit at hand.

    In this ignorantly incompetent decision, there was no mention of any CIDH marriage equality ruling, neither to the previously agreed-upon accord as a settlement to the earlier case in "Atala-Riffo v. Chile," nor to the more-recent binding ruling, OC-24/17, to which courts in both Ecuador and Costa Rica have already acceded, all of which should have been cited as binding legal precedent. Nor was there any reference made to the established jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Mexico, nor to the rulings of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, nor to that of Argentina, Brasil, or the USA. Furthermore, said ruling is a direct insult to the Spanish nation, to the Spanish Parliament, and to Spanish law. In fact, one of the key cases in the ruling in Colombia involved the legal recognition of a Spanish marriage between a Spanish citizen and a Colombian citizen of the same-sex. And the same was true in Costa Rica. The same should have been true in Chile, and appeared to have been the ideal case through which this could have happened.

    Although of small consolation, the 4-member minority, which included the President of the TC, did issue a properly reasoned dissent, one which emphasized the legality of the law in Spain, and one which, had one more member joined, would have flipped the decision.

    The 5-member majority comprised: Iván Aróstica Maldonado, Juan Romero Guzmán, Cristián Letelier Aguilar, José Vásquez Márquez, Miguel Fernández González.

    The 4-member minority was composed of: la presidenta del TC, María Luisa Brahm Baril, Gonzalo García Pino, Nelson Pozo Siva, María Silva Gallinato.

    One can read a very comprehensive news article providing much more detail here:

  • 6. DevilWearsZrada  |  June 7, 2020 at 2:09 am

    Wow. I suppose that was quite unexpected (if not a 5-4 ruling rejecting ME then at least such a bigoted wording of the ruling). I hope the couple will submit a complaint to IACHR, it would be such a shame for Chile to be specifically slapped down after the Court gave its binding opinion on marriage equality in 2018.

  • 7. VIRick  |  June 7, 2020 at 8:29 am

    In Chile, this is what had been previously known about the instant negative ruling, a 5-4 decision which had been orally announced on 16 April 2020:

    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 to 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).

    The shockingly homophobic content of the "reasoning" which led the majority to reach such a decision, as found in the written decision just released on 4 June 2020, was completely unexpected. As one can see from the dates, it took me three days to sufficiently compose myself to be able to write a reasonable, reasoned response, using the plentitude of precedent and case law to reach the opposite conclusion.

    The current decision in Chile runs directly counter to the recent court decision in Ecuador which threw out Ecuador's separate civil unions for same-sex couples in favor of marriage equality for all. In particular, in light of the binding ruling of the CIDH, OC-24/17, that decision alone in Ecuador should have been cited as a key precedent for any ruling in Chile on the same matter, as those are the only two Latin nations to have ever established separate AUCs for same-sex couples.

  • 8. VIRick  |  June 7, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Here is another scathingly critical, detailed report concerning the written decision of the Chilean TC rejecting marriage equality, the headline of which reads:

    Cavernario Fallo del TC sobre Matrimonio Igualitario y Filiación

    Retrograde Judgment of the TC on Marriage Equality and Two-Parent Recognition

    It quotes a number of homophobic paragraphs taken directly from the decision itself, but which I refuse to copy-and-paste, as the language and "reasoning" is simply too ignorantly repugnant to disseminate any further. However, to paraphrase, they did state that current Chilean law limiting marriage to one man and one woman can not be deemed discriminatory, (and thus, unconstitutional,) because a homosexual can always marry someone of the opposite sex.

  • 9. VIRick  |  June 9, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Chile: Historic New Ruling: Court Recognizes Rights of Two Women over Their Son and Orders Civil Registry to Register Him

    Chile: Histórico Fallo Nuevo: Juzgado Reconoce Derechos de Dos Mujeres sobre Su Hijo y Ordena Inscribirlo en el Registro Civil

    Una histórica sentencia a cargo de la jueza Macarena Rebolledo Rojas, del Segundo Juzgado de Familia de Santiago, e inédita en Chile, ordena al Registro Civil a inscribir a un niño en su partida de nacimiento como hijo de dos mujeres. El fallo es el cierre de una estrategia judicial a cargo del abogado, Juan Enrique Pi, de Fundación Iguales, informó este lunes, el 8 de junio 2020, "La Tercera."

    De acuerdo al artículo publicado por este medio, se llevó a tribunales de familia el caso de la historiadora, Emma De Ramón, su esposa, la cientista política, Gigliola Di Giammarino, y Attilio, el pequeño hijo de la pareja de 2 años y 9 meses. Específicamente, en diciembre del año 2017, el Registro Civil rechazó inscribir a De Ramón como madre del pequeño, bajo el argumento de que el sistema sólo podía registrar a una madre y un padre, por lo que el menor fue inscrito como hijo de Di Giammarino, que fue quien se sometió a la fertilización asistida.

    "La no aplicación del artículo 182 del Código Civil a este caso, implica un doble atentado a la igualdad ante la ley: priva a Attilio José del reconocimiento de sus derechos de hijo de Emma De Ramón (quien se sometió en conjunto con la demandante a la técnica de Reproducción Asistida, y además afectiva y socialmente es su madre), dejándolo en una situación de desventaja frente a otros niños, que hubieran nacido en las mismas condiciones, pero cuyos progenitores sean una pareja de distinto sexo, con orientación heterosexual,” agrega el documento. “Y, además, viola el derecho a la igualdad ante la ley de la demandada, quien, a pesar de haber participado en un proceso de reproducción asistida junto a su conviviente civil, concurriendo en ella voluntad procreacional, no puede reconocer legalmente al hijo, nacido gracias a tal procedimiento,” dice a continuación el escrito.

    En este último punto, la magistrado recurrió a la sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) sobre la jueza Karen Atala, quien hace algunos años fuera pareja de De Ramón.

    (To Continue in English)

  • 10. VIRick  |  June 9, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    (Continued from above)

    Chile: Historic New Ruling: Court Recognizes Rights of Two Women over Their Son and Orders Civil Registry to Register Him

    An historic judgment by Judge Macarena Rebolledo Rojas, from the Second Family Court of Santiago, and not yet published in Chile, orders the Civil Registry to register a child on their birth certificate as the son of two women. The ruling is the closure of a judicial strategy by the lawyer, Juan Enrique Pi, from Fundación Iguales, "La Tercera" reported on Monday, 8 June 2020.

    According to the article published there, the case of the historian, Emma De Ramón, her wife, the political scientist, Gigliola Di Giammarino, and Attilio, the couple's young son of 2 years and 9 months, was brought to family courts. Specifically, in December 2017, the Civil Registry refused to register De Ramón as the child's mother, on the grounds that the system could only register a mother and a father, so the minor was registered as the son of Di Giammarino, who was the one who underwent assisted fertilization.

    "The non-applicability of Article 182 of the Civil Code to this case implied a double attack on equality before the law: it deprived Attilio José of the recognition of his rights as the son of Emma De Ramón (who along with the applicant jointly submitted to the technique of Assisted Reproduction, and who is also effectively and socially his mother), leaving him at a disadvantage compared to other children, who would have been born under the same conditions, but whose parents are a couple of different sex, with heterosexual orientation," added the document. "And, in addition, it violates the right to equality before the law for the defendant, who, despite having participated in an assisted reproduction process together with her civil partner, concurring in her pro-creation, but who could not have legal recognition to the child, born thanks to such a procedure," according to a continuation of the ruling.

    On this last point, the magistrate resorted to the judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), re Judge Karen Atala, in "Atala-Riffo v. Chile," who some years ago was a partner of De Ramón.

    And yes, Karen Atala-Riffo, who figures so prominently in the several CIDH rulings already rendered against the Chilean state, is a judge in her own right, let alone the former partner of Emma De Ramón, the lead plaintiff in the present case.

  • 11. VIRick  |  June 9, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Chile: In Light of Homophobic TC Ruling, Opposing Decision in Latest Case Is Eye-Opening

    So, matters are heating up in the Chilean courts, as the timing of this latest decision is extraordinary. Precisely 4 days after the blatantly homophobic ruling of the TC was published, denying the non-birth mother in the Chilean/Spanish marriage case of her legal recognition as being one of the child's two mothers, while also denying the child their right to two parents, we have a ruling in a different case, wherein which the judge just ruled in the opposite direction.

    In this latest case, as explained immediately above, it would have been exceedingly difficult for the judge to have ignored the CIDH ruling in the case of "Atala-Riffo v. Chile," given that the lead plaintiff in the present case, Emma De Ramón, is the ex-partner of Karen Atala, the lead plaintiff in the very same "Atala-Riffo v. Chile."

    There is also one difference between the two cases: In the Chilean/Spanish marriage case, the couple sued for both the recognition of marriage equality and for two-parent recognition for both of the mothers and their child; In the successful case just decided in Santiago, the couple only sued for the two-parent recognition for both mothers and their child, leaving the recognition of marriage equality out of the mix. The court ruling itself simply refers to the partner as "su conviviente civil" (her civil partner), indicating that they are not married, or even "civil unioned" (AUC), and do not seek either status, despite the fact that the news article in "La Tercera" states "su esposa" (her wife).

    In addition, it should now also be fairly obvious that Chilean courts do not necessarily follow legal precedent anywhere nearly as rigidly as many other jurisdictions.

  • 12. VIRick  |  June 7, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    The Unanswerable Question of the Day, A Personal Moment

    Per Juan Carlos Roes, Mexicano en Vermont:

    No sé qué es peor en este momento: Ser un mexicano más en el México de López Obrador o un latino gay de color en los Estados Unidos de Trump.

    I do not know what is worse at this moment: To be one more Mexican in the Mexico of López Obrador or a gay Latin of color in the United States of Trump.

    Protests against police brutality have now spread into Mexico.

    Several prominent killings by police officers and thousands of arrests over violations of measures intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus have roiled Latin America. It’s a region familiar with police brutality, but many people feel the pandemic has become a new excuse for security forces to crack down violently.

    Last month, Mexican police detained Giovanni López, a 30-year-old bricklayer, for not wearing a face mask as bystanders pleaded for his release. His body was later discovered in the hospital, and an autopsy revealed that the cause of death was blunt trauma to the head.

    On Thursday, 4 June 2020, a demonstration erupted over the killing of López in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. Police fired tear gas at protesters, who smashed and burned vehicles outside the government palace. One demonstrator poured flammable liquid onto an officer’s uniform, which caught on fire.

    In Argentina, officers beat up and detained Luis Espinoza, a 31-year-old day laborer, during an operation in May to ensure quarantine measures were being followed. His body was found in a ditch after a weeklong search. Nine cops have been detained in connection to the ongoing investigation.

    And the list of incidents, arrests, and deaths goes on,– and on.


  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  June 8, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Biden campaign announces LGBTQ steering committee

    “Out for Biden” brings together a coalition of activists and politicians to pursue America’s 11 million estimated LGBTQ eligible voters.

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