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Ninth Circuit puts release of Prop 8 trial tapes on hold, fast-tracks appeal for December arguments

Prop 8

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a stay blocking the release of the Prop 8 trial tapes. The tapes were set to be released tomorrow, August 12, but the Prop 8 proponents appealed that order and requested this stay.

Opening briefs in the appeal are to be filed on September 9. Response briefs are due October 9, and any reply brief is due 21 days after that.

The order also notes that the appeal will be argued in December, but there’s no specific date set at this time.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  August 12, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Nebraska: Anti-Bias Agency, NEOC, to Apply "Bostock" Ruling to Housing Discrimination

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On the heels of the recent US Supreme Court decision that banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBT Nebraskans have scored another civil rights victory. As of 12 August 2020, Nebraska’s anti-bias agency, the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, says it will now investigate and resolve cases alleging such discrimination not only in employment, but also in the sale and rental of housing.

    The reason: the language regarding sex in Nebraska’s housing anti-discrimination law is the same as in its workplace anti-discrimination law, language the Supreme Court has already interpreted to apply not just to people’s biological sex, but also to their sexual orientation and gender identity. In a federal context, all of the language is part of the same federal civil rights act, and Nebraska’s statutes mirror the language of the federal law.

    Before the Supreme Court ruling, Nebraska was among 27 states that had not enacted specific employment discrimination protections for LGBT workers. And similarly, including Nebraska, the same 27 states had not barred such discrimination in housing.

    Marna Munn, executive director of the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, an independent state agency, has since likewise concluded that Nebraska law now further bars LGBT discrimination in public accommodations. This situation, however, is only slightly less clear, Munn said, because the federal civil rights act does not bar discrimination in public accommodations based on sex. But the Nebraska state law does.

    The state has already received its first cases since the "Bostock" decision that allege LGBT employment discrimination, but has yet to receive a case based on housing, likely because the word has not yet gotten out, Munn said.

    Note: With this announcement, Nebraska finally scores an LGBT "first," as it is the first of the 27 recalcitrant states, mostly Republican, that had not previously enacted LGBT-specific protections in state law for both employment and housing, let alone for public accommodations, to publicly bow to the "Bostock" ruling, and apply it across-the-board.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Prior to "Bostock," only 23 states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico had banned anti-LGBT discrimination in employment and housing. Only 22 states, plus DC, specifically ban anti-LGBT discrimination in public accommodations. As for the remaining 28, like Nebraska, it would now depend upon whether state law bars discrimination in public accommodations "because of sex."

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 12, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Kamala Harris as VP Brings Diversity, LGBTQ Ally to Biden Ticket

    Joe Biden made history on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, by selecting Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as the first woman of color as a vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket, and a rising political star who has demonstrated a commitment to the LGBTQ community. Harris is a relative newcomer to Washington, but her record on LGBTQ rights extends back to her tenure as district attorney for San Francisco and California Attorney-General, as well as her work during her first term as US senator.

    The crown jewel for Harris in terms of her LGBTQ record is her decision as California Attorney-General not to defend Proposition 8, the state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage enacted at the ballot in 2008. “I declined to defend Proposition 8 because it violates the US Constitution,” Harris said in a statement in 2013. “The Supreme Court has described marriage as a fundamental right 14 times since 1888. The time has come for this right to be afforded to every citizen.”

    After the US Supreme Court restored marriage equality to California in 2013, Harris officiated the wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley CA, the first marriage of a same-sex couple performed in California after the landmark decision. Additionally, Harris instructed clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples with “no exceptions,” despite complaints from officials in more conservative parts of the state.

    In 2015, Harris declined to certify a measure that obtained enough signatures to get on the state ballot to institute the death penalty for homosexual acts, a proposal known as the “Kill the Gays” initiative, bucking her requirements as California Attorney-General. Before that time, as district attorney for San Francisco, Harris worked with the California Legislature to pass legislation barring the use of gay or transgender "panic" defense in court. As a result, California in 2014 became the first state to ban the plea.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  August 13, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Ethnically, Harris is half Jamaican (father's side) and half Indian (mother's side). This is India the South Asian country (vs. Native American); in India, Harris' new status as VP candidate is being widely celebrated.

    There are more than 4 million Indian Americans, and the population is growing quickly.

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 13, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Puebla: "Action of Unconstitutionality" before SCJN

    This is Expediente 143/2019, relative to the Puebla Congress' refusal to up-date the marriage language in that state's Family Code to reflect marriage equality, despite the specific Supreme Court ruling already handed down against Puebla:

    “[…] Artículo 294 del Código Civil para el Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla en la porción normativa “El matrimonio es un contrato civil, por el cual un sólo hombre y una sola mujer”, publicado en el Periódico Oficial del Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla, Tomo DXXXVI, número 5 Quinta Sección, de fecha 6 de diciembre de 2019; en el Decreto del Honorable Congreso del Estado, por el que se reforman, adicionan y derogan diversas disposiciones de los siguientes ordenamientos: La Ley para el Acceso de las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia, La Ley para la Igualdad entre Mujeres y Hombres, La Ley para Prevenir y Erradicar los Delitos en Materia de Trata de Personas y para la Protección y Asistencia a las Víctimas de estos Delitos, El Código Civil y el Código Penal, todos del Estado de Puebla […]”.

    A companion case is Expediente 1/2020, also directed against Article 294.

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 13, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Veracruz: "Action of Unconstitutionality" before SCJN

    This is Expediente 144/2020, relative to the changes made in the Veracruz Family Code pertaining to the terminology utilized in defining marriage, cohabitation, spouses and ex-spouses, and divorce, none of which brings the state of Veracruz up to the jurisprudential standard of marriage equality, per the SCJN rulings.

    Artículos 47, 48, 77, la Fracción (sic) XI del Artículo 92, 98, 100, 132, 139, 139 TER, 141, 142, 144, 145, 148, 151, 241, 242 TER, 252 BIS, 254 SEPTIES, 687 y 725, en las porciones normativas que se detallan en los conceptos de invalidez, relativos a ‘matrimonio,’ ‘concubinato’ ‘sociedad conyugal,’ ‘cónyuges’ y ‘cónyuge,’ ‘excónyuge’ y ‘excónyuges,’ ‘divorcio,’ del Código Civil para el Estado de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, reformados y adicionados mediante Decreto número 569 publicado en la Gaceta Oficial del Estado de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, el día 10 de junio de 2020, en el Núm. Ext. 232 (sic) Tomo II.….

    The other two current cases, against the state of Yucatán and that of Baja California, are too new to yet show case details.

  • 6. __M  |  August 15, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Thanks Rick. Do we happen to know how long will the SCJN take to hear these cases? Is there like an estimate? Thanks

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 15, 2020 at 11:19 am

    In the past, it has usually taken between 12-18 months from the time the case has been accepted until a ruling is handed down. As a result, both Veracruz and Yucatán ought to have marriage equality in place through an SCJN decision before the end of 2021, with Veracruz first, followed by Yucatán some time later.

    The other two states already have marriage equality, Puebla through an earlier SCJN ruling, and Baja California through a state-issued decree. In these two instances, a Supreme Court ruling will re-affirm and streamline existing practice, especially in the case of Baja California. In addition, the Puebla Congress could be hit with punitive damages for its refusal to change the law, as per the original SCJN ruling.

    One major additional point to note: There has been a recent doubling in the number of "Action of Unconstitutionality" cases filed. The current Puebla case, practically the very last one filed in 2019, is #143 for that year. The present Veracruz case, filed mid-year, is already #144 for 2020.

    Originally, I had mis-understood the point about 46 new cases, thinking that all 46 had been filed against Veracruz over the matter of marriage equality. No, not quite. The CNDH filed 46 new "Actions of Unconstitutionality" against an assortment of states, including Veracruz and Yucatán, for an assortment of reasons, including marriage equality, during the month of July.

    And since then, the veritable horde of new cases filed continues, with the marriage equality cases against both Yucatán and Baja California likely being caught up in this latest rush. The Baja California case was filed on 3 August. As a result, the old estimated time-frame may no longer apply, as the number of justices has not increased, even though their case-load has.

    This may also partly explain why the SCJN has not yet followed-up in the matter of the "5 Resolutions" cases already handed down against both Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, states that, to date, have refused to comply. In this category, Sonora will be next.

    Still, all of the above helps to explain why there are moves in the congresses of Baja California and Yucatán for a third vote on marriage equality, in Sinaloa for a second vote, and why the matter is slated to finally be taken up in the Sonora Congress.

  • 8. VIRick  |  August 13, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Democratic National Convention, 17-20 August 2020

    With election season in high gear, Democrats are preparing an unprecedented convention next week that includes a mixture of live and virtual events, including components seeking to highlight the party’s commitment to the LGBTQ community.

    The lineup leading up to Joe Biden’s speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination includes visibility for high-profile LGBTQ Democrats, including Pete Buttigieg and Danica Roem, as well as ratification of a national platform that includes the words “transgender women of color,” “non-binary,” “non-conforming,” and “confirmation surgery” for the first time.

    Those LGBTQ components will be integrated into the convention, which during the time of the coronavirus has been downsized to a largely virtual event, although operations will remain based in the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee WI.

    Buttigieg, who performed well in the primaries, was given a prime-time slot for a speech Tuesday night, 18 August 2020. That’s a high honor in a convention where many participants, with the exception of Biden and his newly-selected running mate, Kamala Harris, will be given short times to speak, as opposed to time for a major address.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 13, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Australia: Queensland Bans Gay "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Queensland has become the first state in Australia to criminalize so-called gay "conversion therapy" after regional lawmakers voted on Thursday, 13 August 2020, to make the practice illegal. Under the new law, healthcare professionals could face up to 18 months in jail for attempting to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity using practices such as aversion therapy, hypnotherapy, and psychoanalysis.

    Two other Australian jurisdictions, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), have committed to banning conversion therapy. On Thursday, 13 August, the ACT introduced a bill to outlaw "conversion therapy" for minors, and last October, the Victorian government began public consultation on similar legislation.

    In 2018, a report by La Trobe University and the Human Rights Law Centre found "conversion therapy" is pervasive in Australian faith communities, with at least 10 organizations offering the practice in Australia and New Zealand.

  • 10. VIRick  |  August 13, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Sonora: Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Las comisiones unidas de Justicia y de Derechos Humanos e Igualdad de Género retomarán la discusión del matrimonio igualitario en el congreso para dar el dictamen correspondiente a la iniciativa de reforma, aseguró Javier Duarte Flores.

    El presidente del Congreso del Estado explicó que el documento entregado el martes 11 de agosto por asociaciones civiles pertenecientes a la comunidad LGBT y la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH llegó a sus manos, y por tanto se dará celeridad al resolutivo.

    The united committees of Justice and of Human Rights and Gender Equality will resume the discussion on marriage equality in congress in order to produce the corresponding draft bill on the reform initiative, said Javier Duarte Flores.

    The president of the State Congress explained that the document delivered on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, by civil associations belonging to the LGBT community and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) came into his hands, and therefore the decision will be expedited.

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 13, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Switzerland: Council of States Delays Move to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The issue has been before the Swiss parliament, the Federal Assembly, for around a decade. But in June there was a big step forward when the National Council, the lower house of parliament, approved marriage equality by a big majority.

    The bill then moved to the Council of States, the upper house. But today, 13 August 2020, its Legal Commission decided to postpone the vote, claiming it needs further clarification "on the constitutionality of the bill."

    When the bill does finally receive a vote in the Council of States, the outcome is not certain, as many think it may face a tougher test than in the National Council. However, the main opponent, the right-wing populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) only holds six of the 46 seats in the Council of States.

    In French, this body is referred to as "le Sénat," with the 20 full cantons, regardless of population, electing 2 members each, while the 6 half-cantons elect 1 member each. As a result, the numerous low-population cantons and half-cantons have an out-sized voice in this upper chamber.

    Moreover, Switzerland has a direct democracy. So if opponents gather 50,000 voter signatures within 100 days of the bill's passage, they can challenge the new law via a referendum. It is not yet clear if the SVP will try to rally this kind of referendum.

    So, the never-ending snail's pace race between Switzerland and Chile continues.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  August 14, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Shanghai Pride shuts down amid shrinking space for China's LGBTQ community

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 14, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Kentucky: Bad Federal Court Ruling by "Not Qualified" Trump Appointee

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 14 August 2020, in "Chelsey Nelson Photography v. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government," a federal case wherein which an alleged wedding photographer/blogger, aided and abetted by the hate group, ADF, filed a "pre-emptive strike" suit challenging the local non-discrimination ordinance so as to be able to discriminate freely, as she pleases, based upon some nebulous notion of her "religious freedom," and to be able to do so with impunity, has challenged the local non-discrimination ordinance. Thus, she knows full well that she would be discriminating.

    However, newly-appointed Judge Justin Walker, rated "not qualified" by the ABA, grants plaintiff Chelsey Nelson a preliminary injunction, despite the fact that she had not been cited for any violation, likely because she does not actually operate a real, functioning business, but instead, makes a claim that she might like like to do so, once she has had this local non-discrimination ordinance pre-emptively tossed, with this judge now saying she is likely to succeed on her Free Speech claim (although he did throw out her "damages" claim and did not touch the "religious freedom" claim).

    "The Court PRELIMINARILY ENJOINS Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government; Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission – Enforcement; Kendall Boyd; Marie Dever; Kevin Delahanty; Charles Lanier, Sr.; Laila Ramey; William Sutter; Ibrahim Syed; and Leonard Thomas (in their official capacities) from taking the following actions against Nelson:

    1. Invoking Metro Ordinance § 92.05(A) to compel Nelson to provide her wedding photography services to express messages inconsistent with Nelson’s beliefs in marriage between one man and one woman, such as providing these services for same-sex wedding ceremonies; and

    2. Invoking Metro Ordinance § 92.05(B) to prohibit Nelson from posting her desired statements (DN 1-2; DN 1-3) on her website and from making materially similar statements on her studio’s website, on her studio’s social media sites, or directly to prospective clients.

    Nelson is substantially likely to succeed on her Free Speech claim."

    Louisville native, and a Mitch McConnell favorite, Judge Justin Walker was confirmed Thursday, 18 June 2020, by the US Senate for a seat on what is considered the nation’s second-most powerful court. The Senate voted 51-42 for his nomination to the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The vote continues Walker’s meteoric ascendancy in the federal court system. The former law professor at the University of Louisville is only 38 and was appointed to the federal district court bench (of Western Kentucky) in October 2019.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  August 15, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Trailing McConnell, Amy McGrath shakes up her campaign

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  August 15, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    US Engagement On Global LGBTI Issues

    (Atlantic Council / GLIFAA Pride Event)

    GLIFAA is the officially recognized organization representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender etc. personnel and their families in the United States Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and other agencies and entities working in foreign affairs in the U.S.

  • 16. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 16, 2020 at 4:19 am

    That video caused me to puke. We all know that President Trump has done nothing but harm to the LGBTI community domestically and internationally, like recently signing an agreement with the homophobic Polish government to station U.S. troops in Poland.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 16, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I was unable to watch more than a few minutes of this video. Following Elihu's timely warning, I quit before I puked. However, from the intro, I gleaned the impression that GLIFAA is engaged in a desperate internal governmental struggle in an attempt to hang onto rights (for themselves, their spouses, and their families) that have already been gained, v. a hostile administration bent on removing as much as they possibly can. As a result, there is no US outreach, only this internal retrenchment, hoping against hope that as career employees of the US government, they can outlast the current administration (otherwise, more familiarly known by career people throughout the US government as the Christmas help, but "helpers" who act more like trolls than elves).

    From a Latin point of view, ever since the end of the Obama administration, Canada, without question, has single-handedly taken over the main leadership position of continuously pushing for the increased expansion of LGBTI rights throughout the region. That, plus the efforts of a number of western European nations, particularly Spain and the Netherlands, with some additional input from Germany and Britain, is what has kept hope alive. This obvious shift in leadership is also why a much greater emphasis has been placed on the regional supra-national organizations, like the CIDH and the various UN agencies. In addition, one further notes an increase in what can be deemed to be regional "self-help" efforts, like Colombia and Ecuador taking in a veritable horde of Venezuelan LGBTI refugees without asking a lot of questions, with Panamá quietly continuing to do the same for Cuban LGBTI asylum-seekers, and with Costa Rica boldly asserting itself into the very forefront of expanding LGBTI rights throughout the rest of Central America and the Caribbean, essentially telling the others, "We did it, so can you." So, yes, at this moment, Costa Rica, by sheer example alone, has more influence in the rest of Latin America than does the USA.

  • 18. JayJonson  |  August 17, 2020 at 8:17 am

    I am posting a link to a New York Times article about a Liberty University fundraiser who is waging a hateful campaign for a Republican-leaning congressional district in Virginia. The Repulbican candidate openly attacks transgender individuals and same-sex marriage and makes appeals for "religious liberty," which, of course, means the right to discriminate against LGBT individuals. It would be very sweet to flip this seat. Please consider a contribution to the Democratic candidate, a Black physician who teaches at the University of Virginia, Cameron Webb.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  August 17, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Some time ago, I found that an inflatable rainbow costume pictured in a VIRick post had been discontinued and could no longer be purchased.

    Today, I found this "Rainbow Unicorn" inflatable costume on eBay: "Giant Prancing Unicorn Inflatable Costume Adult Blow Up Fancy Dress Parade Pride"

  • 20. bayareajohn  |  August 17, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Coincidentally, the cost of said unicorn is 69.

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