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BREAKING: SCOTUS holds Title VII protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity


The decision is here and a version without Justice Alito’s appendix is here.

Justice Gorsuch wrote the opinion for the Court. Here’s who joined/dissented: GORSUCH, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J.,and GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ.,joined. ALITO, J.,filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined. KAVANAUGH, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

The Court decided the sexual orientation and gender identity cases together.

Here is the conclusion:

Some of those who supported adding language to Title VII to ban sex discrimination may have hoped it would derail the entire Civil Rights Act. Yet, contrary to those intentions, the bill became law. Since then, Title VII’s effects have unfolded with far-reaching consequences, some likely beyond what many in Congress or elsewhere expected.
But none of this helps decide today’s cases. Ours is a society of written laws. Judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations. In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee. We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.

We will have more.


  • 1. JayJonson  |  June 15, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Oh Joy! I'm looking forward to reading the ruling in its entirety.

    What a wonderful Pride month gift.

    I was pretty sure that the transgender suit would be decided the right way, for there is a long tradition of case law re transgender employment rights. But I am surprised by the Bostick ruling, which involves gay and lesbian employment rights. I am especially surprised that Roberts joined Gorsuch and the liberals. I had some hope for Gorsuch since he attends a liberal Episcopalian church in Denver.

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  June 15, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Read it here:

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  June 15, 2020 at 8:03 am

    WHAT the actual f happened here? Gorsuch delivers opinion in favour of title VII protections? I NEED to read that. We talk about Gorsuch dissenting in Pavan v. Smith? This Gorsuch?

    Shocked is a small word to describe my state right now.

  • 4. guitaristbl  |  June 15, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Kavanaugh ends his dissent in a Roberts in Obergefell manner but maybe a bit more affirming? :

    "Notwithstanding my concern about the Court’s transgression of the Constitution’s separation of powers, it is appropriate to acknowledge the important victory achieved today by gay and lesbian Americans. Millions of gay and
    lesbian Americans have worked hard for many decades to
    achieve equal treatment in fact and in law. They have exhibited extraordinary vision, tenacity, and grit—battling often steep odds in the legislative and judicial arenas, not to
    mention in their daily lives. They have advanced powerful
    policy arguments and can take pride in today’s result. Under the Constitution’s separation of powers, however, I believe that it was Congress’s role, not this Court’s, to amend
    Title VII. I therefore must respectfully dissent from the Court's judgement"

  • 5. Elihu_Bystander  |  June 15, 2020 at 8:58 am

    "Under the Constitution’s separation of powers, however, I believe that it was Congress’s role, not this Court’s, to amend Title VII," Justice Kavanaugh

    The majority decision did not amend Title VII in any way. They just defined sex in a broader sense than the descenders. In other words, what does the text actually mean.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  June 15, 2020 at 9:15 am

    I don't consider Kavanaugh qualified enough to even attempt to understand that. Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and that includes stereotypes and characteristics related to sex so both cases were IMO pretty straightforward. But given the SCOTUS composition we were facing here I did not expect judicial sense to prevail. I still don't know what to think.

  • 7. JayJonson  |  June 15, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Yes. Gorsuch's opinion is an outstanding example of textualism at its best. It is straightforward, clear, and concise. Contrast that with Alito's vebose and absurd dissent. It goes on and on to little point except to "prove" that in 1964 "sex" did not mean "sexual orientation" and transexualism. Alito's decision is an example of the absurdity of Scalian "orignalism."

  • 8. Elihu_Bystander  |  June 15, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Justice Gorsuch is a textualist in his interpretation of the Constitution. He and Chief Justice Roberts relied on the meaning of sex as written in Title VII. Although, I am completely shocked by this outcome.

  • 9. SethInMaryland  |  June 15, 2020 at 9:29 am

    I remember there use to be this really conservative judge who rose up to be on the supreme court can't remember his name, but when he got on the court , his rulings become more and more progressive as time went along . I'm not saying this case will be for Gorsuch but for some reason after the arguments I had a feeling he would do this

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  June 15, 2020 at 9:56 am


    See also

    But this is probably the person you are thinking of:

    Best Justice ever:

  • 11. scream4ever  |  June 15, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    You may be thinking of John Paul Stevens.

  • 12. SethInMaryland  |  June 15, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    not sure , it some time ago

  • 13. guitaristbl  |  June 15, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Suffice to say Alito is NOT happy and will show frowny face to Gorsuch from now on :

    Also suffice to say Federalist Society is NOT happy, Trump's base is NOT happy either as one of their major factors in voting for Trump was a bigoted SCOTUS majority that today blew in their faces.

  • 14. GregInTN  |  June 15, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Looks like there will be a Zoom hearing on Wed. June 17th @ 2PM PT on the issue of unsealing the video from the Prop 8 Trial. Link for the press & public to attend:

  • 15. GregInTN  |  June 17, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    Judge Orrick still intends to unseal the Prop 8 Trial video in August, 2020 (ten years after decision). Proponents plan to appeal to the 9th Circuit to prevent unsealing the video.

  • 16. scream4ever  |  June 17, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    It'll be a great way to celebrate Perry v Brown's 10th anniversary!!!

  • 17. guitaristbl  |  June 15, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    I feel like I am spamming today but amidst all that I just read on SCOTUSblog the following happened as well :

    "The justices asked the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the views of the United States in Texas v. California, an original action – that is, a lawsuit that Texas is seeking to file against California in the Supreme Court – challenging a California law that bars state-funded travel to Texas because California’s attorney general concluded that a Texas law allows foster-care and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT parents on religious grounds. There is no deadline for the solicitor general to file his brief."

    I wonder where this case is going to go from now on…

  • 18. scream4ever  |  June 15, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    As it seems now today's ruling only applies to employment, but if sex indeed covers orientation and gender identity then such litigation should be a slam dunk for us.

  • 19. JayJonson  |  June 16, 2020 at 5:45 am

    The ruling focused on the definition of "sex" in Title VII, which concerns employment. But the Court's decision that "sex" should be defined to include "sexual orientation" and "transgender identity" should control every use of the word sex in the bill and in federal (and state) regulations generally. So, yes, litigatrion around the meaning of "sex" will be a slam dunk for us. Although one cannot assume any sanity from the Trump Administration, including Betsy Devos or Ben Carson, the sane thing would be to immediately and explicitly incorporate the definition of sex in the Bostock decision into all government regulations. During the Obama Administrations almost all federal agencies incorporated nondiscrimination language, usually adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Trump Administration ostentatiously removed sexual orientation and gender identity from the boiler plate, but now that SCOTUS has expanded the definition of "sex" that makes no difference: sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes. Now there is a question of religious exemptions to the decided in another decision. I'm not too confident that SCOTUS will do the right thing there.

  • 20. guitaristbl  |  June 16, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Yes but this litigition does not have to do with the Texas law itself but with California's decision to ban state-funded travel to Texas because of said law (thus why it is original action as well, involing 2 states that belong in different circuits).

  • 21. VIRick  |  June 15, 2020 at 10:14 pm


    At least it should in housing, in health care, and in the school systems, but not specifically in public accommodations, nor in federal programs, nor in the US military. See my post below.

  • 22. VIRick  |  June 16, 2020 at 11:38 am

    The California state law does not prohibit residents of the state of California from travelling to Texas, nor for that matter, does in prohibit California state officials from travelling there on their own account. In only bars state-funded travel to that state (and to any number of other states with equally regressive state laws on a host of topics). The state of California will simply not pay for said travel expenses.

    How can the state of Texas force the state of California to pay for such travel? This is a California state legislative decision, and is not specifically aimed solely at Texas. In fact, no state is named in the legislation under contention. Instead, Texas named itself by passing discriminatory, restrictive legislation of its own choosing. The same California legislation has also been utilized to target North Carolina with its transgender bathroom restrictions (and was the first state so cited, a move that was done at the height of the multi-state boycott), Tennessee with its multiple restrictions on LGBT rights, Kansas with its host of Brownback-inspired nonsense, plus about 10 others, including Florida, South Dakota, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, and Arkansas, as well as the glorious state of Idaho for a host of additional reasons, not the least being their new anti-transgender legislation (although, to be truthful, Idaho was already on California's "no-pay" list).

    In fact, if history serves correctly, North Carolina's restrictive legislation on transgender bathroom usage was the actual "inspiration" for the California legislation, but which was then retroactively applied to include Indiana because of Pence's legislative "religious freedom" nonsense, Kentucky for supporting and legislatively accommodating Kim Davis, Alabama for its laxness in enforcing its marriage license provisions for same-sex couples, and Arkansas for blindly defending and appealing "Pavan v. Smith," while passing supportive, discriminatory legislation.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  June 15, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Conservatives are seething over Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion that cemented new protections for LGBTQ people. The Senate Republicans who confirmed him? Not so much.

    Many conservatives in the Republican coalition were furious about Gorsuch’s opinion, which came just two days after Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) lost his renomination bid in part because he presided over a same-sex wedding.

  • 24. VIRick  |  June 15, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    US Supreme Court Rules that Firing Workers for Being LGBTQ Is Illegal

    This ruling is utterly sublime. In particular, look for the amazing citation of a key precedent-setting 22-year-old ruling written by Gorsuch's immediate predecessor, none other that the infamous, original "originalist," the now-deceased Antonin Scalia, who just rolled over in his grave three times out there in suburban Fairfax County VA at the merest thought of it.

    In an historic decision, the US Supreme Court ruled on Monday, 15 June 2020, that existing federal law bars discrimination against workers for being LGBTQ, affirming long-sought federal protections for LGBTQ people in the workplace. The 6-3 decision, written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, determines that LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Gorsuch writes. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” Joining Gorsuch in the majority was Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer.

    The ruling was in a consolidation of three cases: "Bostock v. Clayton County" and "Zarda v. Altitude Express," both of which involved gay men who were fired from their jobs, and "R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC and Aimee Stephens," which involved a transgender woman losing her job at the time she transitioned. In all three cases, the plaintiffs said they lost their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    For the 29 states that lack state laws banning LGBTQ discrimination in the workforce, the ruling affirms that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace is now not only illegal in those places, but also nationwide. In theory, the ruling should apply to laws other than Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex in the workforce, to include the Fair Housing Act, the Affordable Care Act, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1964, meaning that LGBTQ people now have federal protections not only in employment, but also in housing, in health care, and in the school systems.

    Because no federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in public accommodations nor in federal programs, the instant ruling does nothing for LGBTQ protections in those areas. There is also no federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in the US military.

    However, this is the point where the Gorsuch ruling comes sublime:

    Gorsuch cites several cases establishing precedent on the scope of Title VII to reach the conclusion that it bars LGBTQ discrimination. Among them, he notes the 1998 decision in "Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.," a decision written by none other than the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, a decision that determined that sexual harassment from workers of the same-sex amounts to sex discrimination under the law. The case involved a group of offshore Louisiana oil rig workers who harassed and berated a fellow oil rig team member with incessant, offensive slurs, like constantly calling him "gay boy" and "faggot man." He sued. He won. And 22 years ago, the "originalist," Scalia, wrote that precedent-setting decision. In the instant decision, Gorsuch then cited it as key precedent for his own decision, while Scalia rolled over in his grave one more time.

  • 25. scream4ever  |  June 15, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    What are some examples of federal programs?

  • 26. VIRick  |  June 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Scream, the program most immediately at hand, already before the Supreme Court for its next session commencing from October 2020, concerns whether or not taxpayer-funded adoption agencies have the right to discriminate against married LGBT couples due to said agencies' "religious" objections.

    See "Fulton v. City of Philadelphia"

    And for additional commentary from the ACLU, see:

  • 27. scream4ever  |  June 18, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Yup I'm aware of that but I thought that was considered public accommodation.

  • 28. VIRick  |  June 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Even so, one can apparently still discriminate in public accommodations based on "sex," but not if based on racial, ethnic, or national origin grounds. However, taxpayer funding of groups, organizations, and institutions wishing to discriminate on the basis of "sex" is a far bigger issue. Since LGBT is sex-based, we have to read it in that fashion. In other words, whenever a taxpayer-funded organization discriminates against an LGBT couple, said organization is actively engaging in sex discrimination.

    For years, in Latin America, women's rights and LGBT rights, and groups supporting either, have long worked hand-in-hand. For this, one must always give credit to Latin lesbian groups who can simultaneously see the issue from both perspectives, yet, in either case, see it as a sex-based issue. The USA is finally catching up to this same dual perspective.

  • 29. Randolph_Finder  |  June 16, 2020 at 5:41 am

    Scalia turning over in his grave, an renewable source of energy….

  • 30. scream4ever  |  June 18, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    This article seems to imply that Bostock also implicitly grants LGBTQ people protection in credit and jury service.

  • 31. JayJonson  |  June 16, 2020 at 5:52 am

    VIRick's mention of the use of Scalia's decision in the Bostock decision reminds me of how his dissent in Lawrence, where he scare mongered by predicting that the decision would lead to same-sex marriage, was actually used seriously by our lawyers to buttress our arguments for same-sex marriage. I suspect that Alito's similar scare-mongering, especially where he says that this ruling will allow transsexuals to use bathrooms of their choice and compete in sports according to their identity rather than biology, will similarly be useful. I suspect that all future cases involving trans students wanting to use bathrooms according to their identity or to compete in sports that coincide with their identity will be guided by the Bostock decision. I think there are a couple such cases in district courts and at least one pending in an appeals court.

  • 32. guitaristbl  |  June 16, 2020 at 8:16 am

    I do think district and appeals courts that want to rule against trans people using the correct bathrooms will do so based on what Gorsuch said on his main opinion that these issues are not decided here. I can't see e.g. the 5th or the 8th seeing such an expansive interpretation as binding.

  • 33. VIRick  |  June 16, 2020 at 9:11 am

    "I suspect that Alito's similar scare-mongering, especially where he says that this ruling will allow transsexuals to use bathrooms of their choice and compete in sports according to their identity rather than biology, will similarly be useful."

    Yes, and in particular, keep an eye on two cases already brewing in federal court; namely, the case from Connecticut (see 5 posts below), via the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, and the case from Idaho, via the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They are opposing cases. In Connecticut, nut-jobs are suing to block transgender students from competing in school sports according to their gender identity. In Idaho, we are suing to block a new nut-job state law limiting student athletes from competing other than according to their biology. In addition to a number of suits from transgender students, in the second instance, several female student athletes are also suing on the grounds that they object to the additional invasive requirement of having to prove their "femaleness." In other words, they are demanding that state legislators stay out of their vaginas. The law, of course, is inherently discriminatory on the basis of sex, as no one is required to prove their "maleness," not even transgender men.

  • 34. JayJonson  |  June 16, 2020 at 5:59 am

    Yesterday, I saw an interview on MSNBC with Pamela Karlan, the Stanford University professor who presented the oral arguments in the Bostock case. She is a superb lawyer. Hearing her speak reminded me that she was Theodore Olson's first choice to partner with him in the challenge to Proposition 8. He wanted someone who was a liberal Democrat and openly gay. He was going to invite Karlan to join him in the challenge, but then learned that she was on the Obama Administration's shortlist for a Supreme Court appointment. He became afraid that if she were appointed to a Supreme Court seat after becoming his partner in the case, she would then have to recuse herself if the case reached the Supreme Court. When a couple of openly gay lawyers turned down his invitation, he decided to ask David Boies, and the rest is history.

    Here is an interesting story about Karlan and her participation in the Bostock case that appeared in the Daily Stanford right after the oral arguments at SCOTUS:

  • 35. JayJonson  |  June 16, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Michelangelo Signorile rightly points out that the Bostock decision owes a great deal to Obama's EEOC. He also observes that "Gorsuch, despite this ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, is no friend to LGBTQ equality and will likely bring heartache down the line. And Roberts, who read his blistering dissent from the bench in 2015’s Obergefell marriage equality decision, can’t be trusted, no matter the detour he made here. It’s vital that the court be kept from lurching further to the right — and that means electing a Democratic president."

    See more here:

  • 36. guitaristbl  |  June 16, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    I think this last point goes without saying. Gorsuch is not Kennedy just yet and I doubt he will be. One thing that has trended on social media is Kavanaugh's dissent and Collins's trust in him. Another hit she takes that can be crucial on the way to a democratic Senate Majority. She needs to go ASAP.

  • 37. VIRick  |  June 16, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Indiana: "Pavan v. Smith" Redux, "Box v. Henderson"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Continuing its fight over parentage in "Box v. Henderson," Indiana has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling, unanimously decided by Flaum, Easterbrook, and Sykes, with Final Judgment issued on 17 January 2020, that allowed non-birth mothers in a same-sex marriage to be listed as the second parent on their children’s Indiana birth certificates.

    Hopefully, at some point since his ignorant minority dissent in "Pavan v. Smith," the 2017 Supreme Court ruling against the Arkansas state law regarding the exact same matter, Gorsuch will have been informed and will now understand that whenever a married couple give birth to a child, the concept of "presumed parenthood," legally valid in all jurisdictions in the USA, automatically extends to include the spouse of the birth mother, without any questioning, outside testing, or other validating proof being required. If the situation were to be simply stated in a non-gender-specific manner, as above, the case becomes immediately clear.

    The petition for Writ of Certiorari, along with 122 pages of endless, nit-picking argle-bargle (Scalia just rolled over in his grave, yet again, upon my citation of one of his more annoying catch-phrases), still desperately clinging to antiquated, gender-specific man-woman language, as found in non-updated Indiana state law, is here:

    Note: Both Easterbrook and Sykes have been on Trump's "short list" for Supreme Court nominations, and hoping against hope, managed to delay issuing the instant ruling, written by Flaum, for over 3 years, thus giving this case its own peculiar time-warp. The District Court ruling, subsequently appealed, had been issued in 2016.

    In fact, even using outdated man-woman language, one should still be able to grasp the concept of presumed parenthood: Whenever a married woman gives birth, her spouse (husband) is presumed to be the second parent (the father) of the child, even if, in actual fact, the biological father might happen to be the itinerant preacher, a fast-moving delivery man, a second-cousin down the road, or some anonymous sperm donor.

  • 38. VIRick  |  June 17, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Connecticut: Up-Date on Transgender School Athletes Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 16 June 2020, in "Soule v. Connecticut Assn. of Schools," the nut-job federal lawsuit filed by the hate-group, Alliance Defending Freedom, seeking to block transgender girls from competing as girls in school sports, the plaintiffs asked Judge Robert N. Chatigny to recuse himself from the case because, during a recent telephone conference, the judge had asked the plaintiffs' attorneys to stop referring to transgender girls as males.

    In a blistering ORDER denying 103 Motion to Transfer/Disqualify/Recuse as Judge, the request to recuse was denied. One can read the full text-only order here:

    Note: This is a deliberately provoking lawsuit, meant to either find "fault" so as to intimidate the court, or alternately, find specious grounds upon which the plaintiffs will then have what they consider to be their "grounds" for filing an appeal. Since Connecticut is a very difficult state within the even more difficult 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, one can already foresee that the plaintiffs are deliberately angling to "lose" at both lower levels, and thus have themselves a ready-made pretext for forcing their specious case before the US Supreme Court.

  • 39. VIRick  |  June 17, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Maryland: Married Same-Sex Couple Win "Presumed Parenthood" Birthright Citizenship Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 17 June 2020, in "Kiviti v. Pompeo," the federal case wherein which married same-sex plaintiffs were suing the US Department of State for refusing to recognize the US citizenship of their daughter as being the daughter of married US citizens, Roee and Adiel Kiviti, Maryland federal judge, Theodore D. Chuang, ruled in favor of the couple and their daughter, specifically citing the longstanding "presumption of parentage based on marriage" to rule as he did.

    Judge Chuang was incredible, as he methodically and very meticulously tore apart the US Dept. of State's mis-understanding and mis-interpretation of US immigration law, citing case upon case to prove the precise opposite, at which point, he finally declares:

    From the Order:
    "The Court declares that K.R.K. is a United States citizen by birth pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1401(c) (which pertains to children born to MARRIED US citizens, and not 8 U.S.C. § 1409 (a), as the US Dept. of State would like, which only pertains to children born out of wedlock to a US citizen).
    "The US Department of State is directed to issue a United States passport to K.R.K."

    The Order is here:

    The Memorandum Opinion is here:

    MARRIED same-sex couples must be treated equally to married hetero couples. A MARRIED couple is a married couple. Period. This is certainly not the first time that the US Dept. of State has lost its case by insisting upon clinging to its out-dated gender-specific man-woman, father-mother language in its vain attempt to determine parentage and US citizenship. Instead, it would have been so much easier if they were to have utilized the gender-neutral term, "spouse," but above all else, simply treat MARRIED couples equally.

    Although the instant case is at least two steps more complex than either "Pavan v. Smith" or "Box v. Henderson," the same principles apply. Gorsuch, please take careful note. State of Indiana, once again, please take note, as your case has already been lost,– twice. State of Arkansas, please take continuing note.

  • 40. guitaristbl  |  June 18, 2020 at 7:34 am

    And today SCOTUS preserved DACA for now based on a technicality. But still. A 5-4 liberals+Roberts writing. Interesting times. This one is obvious though, Roberts does not want such a controversial decision in his hands few months before election and tries to delay it.

  • 41. VIRick  |  June 18, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Supreme Court Blocks Trump Administration from Ending DACA

    On 18 June 2020, in a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from ending a program that allows young undocumented immigrants to remain in the US and obtain work permits. Almost 700,000 immigrants have benefitted from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since the Obama administration enacted it in 2012. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law notes this figure includes 39,000 LGBTQ “Dreamers.”

    The Trump administration in 2017 announced it would end the Obama-era program, but this effort was challenged in court, resulting in today's ruling in "Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California."

    Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in deciding in favor of maintaining DACA, and wrote the majority decision.

    “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. ‘The wisdom’ of those decisions ‘is none of our concern,’” Roberts wrote in his majority opinion. “We address only whether the (Homeland Security) agency complied with the procedural requirement (of the APA) that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.” Roberts wrote that the federal agency that rescinded DACA, Homeland Security, “failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients. That dual failure,” Roberts continued, “raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner.”

    The Trump Administration had argued that Obama lacked legal authority to implement DACA, but lower courts disagreed with Trump’s assertion.

    The Opinion is here:

  • 42. JayJonson  |  June 18, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Linda Greenhouse has a thoughtful response to the Bostock decision in the NYTimes. She is especially good in her devastating account of the Alito dissent.

    Here is a link.

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  June 18, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Israel set to have record number of openly gay MPs: 6 / 120 = 5% of the Knesset

    Last year, Israel appointed its first openly gay minister.

    The country has the most progressive attitude towards LGBTQ people in the Middle East, despite opposition from some conservative sections of society.

    They are protected by anti-discrimination laws, have adoption and same-sex inheritance rights, and have been allowed to serve in the military since 1993.

    Yorai Lahav-Hertzano will become the sixth openly gay MP when he is sworn in next week.

    Same-sex marriage cannot legally be performed in Israel. Israeli law allows same-sex marriages performed elsewhere to be registered [for statistical purposes], but not recognized, based upon a 2006 Israeli Supreme Court decision.

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  June 19, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    India: SSM's illegal, but cohabitation is a fundamental right

    Consensual cohabitation between two adults of the same sex is not illegal or a crime, the Uttarakhand high court observed recently while hearing a petition.

    Individuals from the same sex might not be competent to enter into a wedlock since the law does not recognize such marriages, but they still have a right to live together even outside the wedlock, justice Sharad Kumar Sharma stated in an order passed on June 12.

    “It is a fundamental right which is guaranteed to a person under article 21 of the Constitution of India, which is wide enough to protect an inherent right of self determination with regards to one’s identity and freedom of choice with regards to the sexual orientation of choice of the partner”, the court said.

  • 45. ianbirmingham  |  June 20, 2020 at 2:04 am

    Trump’s Poll Numbers Are So Bad the GOP Is Starting to Panic About a ‘Wipeout’

    Republicans are increasingly concerned that he could cost them the Senate as well, handing Democrats unified control of Washington after the next election. … if the election were held today, it would be “devastating” for the GOP, who would lose not just the White House but the Senate and likely some House seats as well — even though most of the House map is being fought in districts Trump won that Democrats flipped in 2018. And they warned of a mirror-image result of the 1988 presidential election, when President George H.W. Bush won 40 states in an electoral romp.

    Republicans say that Trump is getting blown out with independent voters and continues to drop with female voters, with white women who lack college degrees moving away from him. Some have also seen a concerning erosion with senior citizens as well as gen-X voters.

    The Senate had long looked like an uphill fight for Democrats — but in recent weeks that’s changed.

    But while many Republicans think that things can’t get much worse, there’s no guarantee that’s true. One GOP strategist who’d expressed less worry than many others called immediately after seeing the news of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s blockbuster accusations that Trump tried to get China to help him win the 2020 election, beginning the conversation with two words: “Holy shit.”

    “Are we at the bottom or has the bottom not even dropped out yet?” wondered another strategist.

  • 46. VIRick  |  June 20, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Cuba: Cuban State Legally Recognizes that Paulo Has Two Mothers

    Per Rex Wockner:

    A 1-year-old boy born in Tallahassee FL via assisted reproduction to a married Cuban/US same-sex couple who live in Cuba has become the first person in Cuba with two legal mothers.

    Cuba: Estado Cubano Reconoce Legalmente que Paulo Tiene Dos Madres

    Casi un año después de que iniciaran desde Estados Unidos el proceso para inscribir a su hijo en el Registro Civil del Estado cubano, ayer en La Habana, el 18 de junio 2020, Dachelys Valdés Moreno y Hope Bastian finalmente obtuvieron su certificado de nacimiento emitido por el Ministerio de Justicia (MINJUS) en el que ambas figuran como madres. Paulo nació en la Florida, de donde es originaria su mamá, Hope, y donde lograron acceder al servicio de reproducción asistida después de comprobar que en Cuba cualquier procedimiento de este tipo era imposible para una pareja de mujeres.

    En ese estado, además, cuando una mujer casada pare los hijos, son legalmente reconocidas como de la pareja, por lo que en el Registro Civil de la Florida tanto Dachelys como Hope, figuran como madres. Antes de regresar a la isla, donde la familia reside de manera permanente, iniciaron el proceso para inscribir a Paulo como hijo de una ciudadana cubana nacido fuera del país, un trámite que comienza en la embajada de Cuba en el país de nacimiento.

    El propio certificado de nacimiento que obtuvieron ayer en La Habana establece que “la inscripción se practica en virtud de ambas madres al tratarse de un caso de doble maternidad, con apoyatura legal en el Artículo 7 de la Constitución de la República de Cuba, que reconoce además el derecho a formar una familia, cualquiera que sea su forma de organización, y vela por el interés superior del niño y su derecho a ser inscrito.”

    (to continue in English)

  • 47. VIRick  |  June 20, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    (continued in English)

    Almost a year after they began the process from the United States to register their son in the State Civil Registry of Cuba, yesterday in Havana, 18 June 2020, Dachelys Valdés Moreno and Hope Bastian finally obtained the birth certificate issued by the Ministry of Justice (MINJUS ) in which both appear as mothers. Paulo was born in Florida, from where his mother, Hope, originated, and where they were able to access assisted reproduction services after verifying that any such procedure was impossible for a female couple in Cuba.

    In Florida, moreover, when a married woman gives birth to a child, the couple is legally recognized as a couple, so that both Dachelys, as well as Hope, are listed as mothers in the Florida Civil Registry. Before returning to the island, where the family permanently resides, they began the process to register Paulo as the son of a Cuban citizen born outside the country, a process that began at the Cuban embassy in the country of birth.

    The birth certificate itself obtained yesterday in Havana establishes that "the registration is done by virtue of both mothers being treated as an instance of double maternity, with legal support from Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, which also recognizes the right to form a family, whatever its form of organization, and safeguards the best interests of the child and its right to be registered.”

    Notice, too, that by this action the Cuban government is also recognizing and applying the principle of "presumed parenthood," that is, whenever a married woman gives birth to a child, her spouse is presumed to be the second parent. A few years ago, in Florida, it also took the filing of multiple federal lawsuits and the issuance of multiple court rulings and orders in said cases before the state of Florida finally stopped automatically appealing every ruling and quite reluctantly conceded this very point. Furthermore, we never heard a squawk from 4-times-married Florida A-G Pam Bondi from that day since.

  • 48. VIRick  |  June 21, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Note: "Q-de-Cuir" is a Cuban-based digital magazine for the empowerment of LGBTIQ persons. The word "cuir" in this instance is also an excellent example of modern-day Spanglish, because phonetically, in Spanish, cuir = queer, thus the name, "Q of queer." It is fascinating to realize that Cubans continue to keep up with the latest Spanglish phrasing, right alongside Puerto Ricans and Panamanians.

    Still, one instantly notices the Cuban-based nature of this organization because of the deference being paid to the State in the wording of its reporting. However, in this instance, the non-confrontational manner in which the case was handled (and reported), vis-a-vis the State, resulted in success.

    Outside of Cuba, one does not regularly think in terms of non-Cuban citizens freely choosing to live in Cuba, let alone of Cuban citizens who seemingly are free to travel back and forth, and who also freely choose to continue living in Cuba. However, in reality, for a host of reasons, there are numerous examples in both categories. Still, this article presents both categories as being perfectly normal, a point which is also likely to be an exaggeration, as Cuban citizens still need prior state approval to be able to travel outside Cuba, while non-citizens face similar bureaucratic hurdles before obtaining residency, neither of which is ever guaranteed, and both of which require patience and excess time.

  • 49. VIRick  |  June 21, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Israel: Tel Aviv to Allow LGBT Couples to Register as Married

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In a challenge to the central government, the city of Tel Aviv has announced that LGBT and other couples may now register their civil partnerships and civil marriages with the city in order to take advantage of tax breaks and city programs. Although designed primarily for LGBT couples, the change of policy would also allow interfaith couples in Tel Aviv and those opposed to Rabbinate weddings to sidestep the authorities.

    On Sunday, 21 June 2020, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality said it would allow cohabiting couples to register their relationship and enjoy marital rights, in a protest against the government’s refusal to recognize same-sex couples or those not married under the state’s religious authorities. Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai said the move, coinciding with the country’s Pride Week, makes those who register eligible for housing tax discounts, as well as easing the enrollment of their children in public daycares and schools.

    Though same-sex marriage is not technically illegal in Israel, there is no institution authorized to carry it out. In a system inherited from Ottoman times, people can only marry in Israel through their religious institutions: Jewish couples must marry through the Chief Rabbinate, which refuses to carry out same-sex or interfaith marriages; while Christians, Druze, and Muslims all marry through their own separate state-sanctioned and publicly-funded religious legal systems.

  • 50. Randolph_Finder  |  June 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Yup. Israel is *wierd* in regards to LGBTQ rights. The fact that two Jewish men are basically treated the same way as a Muslim man and a Jewish woman has hit some *really* odd corner cases.

  • 51. VIRick  |  June 22, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    And it is not just marriage. In Israel, if a couple marry through their religious institution, the same religious court must later be called upon to handle the divorce. Here is an article about a Jewish woman whose husband filed for divorce but refused to grant a "get," a writ of divorce allowing her to re-marry. He then departed Israel, leaving her stranded. It took her 14 years before she was finally granted the divorce by the religious court.

    Unlike many other countries, like the USA, which have a multiplicity of Jewish traditions, Reformed, Conservative, and Orthodox, in Israel, only the Orthodox tradition is legally recognized, giving it a monopoly on interpreting Jewish law. Thus, if one is Jewish in Israel, one is either Orthodox or secular. As a result, in addition to LGBT couples and interfaith couples, Jewish couples unwilling to marry (and thus, possibly divorce, if necessary) in the hyper-rigid Orthodox tradition, join the other two groups in trekking abroad to marry. Since the Orthodox are constantly being pulled into an ever more stringent mode by the ultra-orthodox, the situation has gotten to the point where the majority of Israeli couples of whatever description now marry abroad, and quite frequently do so in Cyprus. There is no such thing as civil marriage in Israel, only religious marriage. On the other hand, Cyprus offers civil unions for same-sex couples, and civil marriage for everyone else. In 2011 alone, over 9,000 Israeli couples married in Cyprus, while for each subsequent year, that number has increased.

    In Israel, for Muslims, only the Sunni Muslim tradition is legally recognized, while the Druze are Druze. Yet, for Christians, a whole panoply of Eastern rite traditions are legally recognized, and each of the original 9 have their own separate religious authorities: Greek Orthodox, Melkite Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic (Latin rite), Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Chaldean (Uniate), Maronite, Syriac Orthodox, and Syriac Catholic. In 1970, the Anglican Church was included with these recognized churches, while special arrangements for the recognition of marriage were made between the State of Israel and the Lutheran, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Coptic Orthodox churches.

  • 52. ianbirmingham  |  June 23, 2020 at 8:35 am

    Only right-wing religious traditions are legally recognized. Unitarians and all other left-leaning denominations (Christian, Jewish, etc.) are treated as second class citizens.

  • 53. Randolph_Finder  |  June 24, 2020 at 10:19 am

    The farthest left, IMO, of the Christian sects mentioned as having special arrangements are Anglicans and Lutherans…

  • 54. ianbirmingham  |  June 24, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Will Anglican and Lutheran officials carry out legally valid same-sex marriage ceremonies (as Unitarians would very happily do)?

  • 55. VIRick  |  June 24, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Ian, in Israel? Same-sex couples can not marry in Israel. Same-sex couples, interfaith couples, and all other couples who do not wish to be married in a religious ceremony, all marry abroad, and legally do so in a civil marriage ceremony. Legal civil marriages performed abroad are then recorded as such by the civil authorities of Israel.

    Unitarians are not recognized by the State of Israel, so any marriage performed under their auspices anywhere in the world would not be recognized at all, even if it were for a heterosexual couple. Theoretically, you are asserting that the Unitarians are more "left-wing" (meaning, more progressive) than Anglicans and/or Lutherans. I agree. However, your point, perhaps valid in Western Europe or North America, has absolutely nothing to do with Israel.

    Israel, like most all of the Middle East, is trapped in a major, centuries-old, Eastern-oriented time-warp, still adhering to 19th century Ottoman law, compounded by Orthodox Jewish law, and highly exacerbated by the stridently retrograde ultra-orthodox.

    Specifically, as it relates to Israel, the Unitarians have the same basic "problem" as the Iranian-founded Baha'i and the Ahmadi sect of Islam. They are all too modern, that is, as movements, they did not exist when the 19th century Ottoman law was first implemented. The basis for said law has never been up-dated, and likely never will be up-dated.

    That is why there is this major push in Israel (and to a lesser extent, in Lebanon) for the state to finally recognize civil marriage, and why the increasing popularity exists for civil marriages/civil unions, as performed in Cyprus, to be done in Israel itself.

  • 56. ianbirmingham  |  June 25, 2020 at 4:04 am

    The question is intended to challenge Randolph's claim that Anglicans and Lutherans are "left" denominations. If they were, then they would be carrying out same-sex marriages, and consequently SSM would be legal in Israel. Obviously, they do not, and SSM is not, thus the idea that Anglicans and Lutherans are "left" denominations is contradicted and shown to be false.

  • 57. JayJonson  |  June 22, 2020 at 8:22 am

    In the New York Times today, Jonathan Rauch and Peter Wehner propose that the rights of LGBT people be compromised to please the religious folk, using the example of Utah's passage of a gay rights bill that contains a lot of religious exemptions. Why am I not surprised that Jonathan Rauch is so eager to compromise the rights of LGBT people? As you may remember, he and David Blankenhorn proposed that gay people should be content with civil unions instead of marriage (after, if I recall correctly, Rauch had already married his partner). Obviously, neither religious rights nor other rights are absolute and there may be the possibility of compromise with those who simply can't find it in their hearts to be good citizens and neighbors. But why, oh why, would an openly gay man be so eager to limit the hard-won rights of others?

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