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8/25 open thread UPDATE 8/26

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

This is an open thread. We’ll post any breaking news.

UPDATE 8/26 The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has again ruled (2-1) in favor of Gavin Grimm in his case. The court ruled that Tile IX and the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause protect transgender students from being discriminated against in the context of using the correct restrooms.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  August 26, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    4th Circuit Court of Appeals Again Affirms "Gavin Grimm"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    For the second time around, in a case that has already been to the Supreme Court and back, on 26 August 2020, in "Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board," the seemingly endless case wherein which the Virginia county school board doggedly appealed the final decision in favor of a transgender student (now graduated), the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, in a 2-1 decision, upheld the district court decision in favor of Gavin Grimm. Judge Floyd wrote the majority opinion, one in which Judge Wynn joined. Additionally, Judge Wynn wrote a concurring opinion, while Judge Niemeyer dissented.

    Judge Floyd: "At the heart of this appeal is whether equal protection and Title IX can protect transgender students from school bathroom policies that prohibit them from affirming their gender. We join a growing consensus of courts in holding that the answer is resoundingly yes."

    The Opinion is here:

  • 2. JayJonson  |  August 26, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Great to get some good news at this scary time in American history.

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 26, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Alabama: Voters to Decide if Legislature Should Re-Write State Constitution

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In November, Alabama voters will decide whether the legislature should recompile the state constitution in 2022 to, among other matters, remove racist and repealed provisions, presumably including the LGBT marriage ban.

    The "Alabama Authorize Legislature to Recompile the State Constitution Amendment" (HB 328) is on the ballot in Alabama on 3 November 2020 as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

    A "Yes" vote supports authorizing the state legislature to recompile the Alabama Constitution during the 2022 regular state legislative session and provide for its ratification. A "No" vote opposes authorizing the state legislature to recompile the Alabama Constitution during the 2022 regular state legislative session and provide for its ratification.

    It is not clear as to whether this provision would also alter the "may marry" language to which the hold-out county probate judges steadfastly cling, the 10 who refuse to perform any marriages whatsoever, lest they be found guilty of discrimination for refusing to marry a same-sex couple.

  • 4. Fortguy  |  August 26, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    The Alabama Constitution has got to be the worst constitutional document still in use in a democratic system anywhere in the world. Alabama would be better served to just throw out that outdated, putrid pile of verbiage and write a modern document.

    In the meantime, I hope there are enough "adult" Alabama Republican legislators to team with Dems to make the necessary changes. You know the tantrum children in that state's GOP conference will kick and scream about removing some of the bigoted language including heteronormative provisions overturned by federal courts.

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 26, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    Consulate of Mexico, Houston: First Marriage of a Same-Sex Couple Celebrated

    Per Consulmex Houston:

    Haciendo historia, el 22 de agosto 2020, celebramos el primer matrimonio igualitario en el marco de las acciones emprendidas por la SRE de México para la modernización de los procedimientos consulares en favor de la población LGBTTTIQ. ¡Felicidades Pedro y José Alberto!

    Making history, on 22 August 2020, we celebrated the first equal marriage within the framework of the actions undertaken by the SRE of Mexico for the modernization of consular procedures in favor of the LGBTTTIQ population. Congratulations Pedro and José Alberto!

    SRE = Foreign Relations Secretariat

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Venezuela: A Question of Marriage Equality/Cohabitation

    Per Iris De França:

    ¿Considera usted que la nueva Asamblea Nacional debe trabajar en las reformas legales necesarias para permitir el matrimonio igualitario y reconocer las uniones estables de hecho (concubinato) entre dos personas sin importar el género?

    Do you consider that the new National Assembly must work on the legal reforms necessary to allow marriage equality and to recognize stable de facto unions (cohabitation) between two people regardless of gender?

  • 7. Fortguy  |  August 26, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Is this a proposed popular referendum or just another Twitter poll?

  • 8. VIRick  |  August 26, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    Iris lives in Los Teques, the capital city of the western Venezuelan state of Miranda, the most liberal, progressive state in all of Venezuela. Or at least it once was when I was in nearby Táchira state, the second-most liberal, situated right on the Colombian border.

    Iris is a lawyer and a political figure of some stature, the Secretary-General of Movimiento Ciudadano Cambiemos Miranda, a progressive, social democratic political organization. She is also a member of the city council of el Municipio Guaicaipuro Los Teques, and still expresses hope for the future of Venezuela. If any movement to alter Venezuela's current political quagmire were to succeed, it will come from this western highland region of the country. In the past, throughout Venezuela's history, between Táchira and Miranda, it always has.

    So, to answer your question, given the political stature of the individual making the original query, and given that it is coming from Miranda, I took the matter to have political significance worth noting.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 26, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Costa Rica: In First Three Months, 296 Same-Sex Couples Married

    En tres meses, 296 parejas homosexuales han celebrado su matrimonio desde que Costa Rica reconoce el derecho. Según explicó el oficial mayor del Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE), Luis Guillermo Chinchilla, de esas declaraciones, 276 ya culminaron el proceso de inscripción.

    In three months, 296 same-sex couples have celebrated their marriage since Costa Rica recognized the right. As explained by the senior official of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Luis Guillermo Chinchilla, of those declarations, 276 have already completed the registration process.

    At the bottom of this news article, there is a diagram, beginning from 1994, showing the 12 most important steps in the long road toward marriage equality in Costa Rica.

  • 10. VIRick  |  August 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    RNC Video Claiming Rioting in "Biden's America" is Actually from Barcelona, Spain

    While almost simultaneously, the Kenosha shooting suspect has been discovered in a photo in which he had a prominent, front-row seat at a Trump rally in Des Moines in January 2020.

    The first photo at the top of the first article was taken from the Republican National Convention video, via, and quite falsely claims the footage to be "Biden's America."

    As one can see, down below, at the bottom of the same article, the very first photo, taken from a series of 12, was documented as having been shot in Barcelona, Spain, in October 2019, during the street protests there in favor of an independent Cataluña. Notice on the right-hand side of the two matching photos that the same identical European-model vehicles are all lined up, one behind the other. In order, the first 4 are grey, red, white, and blue sedans, very likely all Spanish-made. In particular, the cyan-blue color on the fourth screams "Spanish." The angle of the trees on the sidewalk behind the vehicles match, as do the rounded Spanish-style door lintels behind that, to say nothing of the same burning debris in the middle of the street.

    As a separate observation, having lived most of my life in Latin America, I recognize Spanish period architecture when I see it. Plus, with our intimate alleys and walkways, we have an abundance of it here, with the same rounded door lintels, reminiscent of Barcelona.

    But we move on.

    In the second article, we have the photo, courtesy of C-Span and Drake University, of the Kenosha shooting suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse (circled, in white hat) sitting in the front row, right alongside the podium, during a Trump rally in Des Moines on 30 January 2020, while the hair-do blathers on about something.

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 29, 2020 at 10:38 am

    In this photo at the top of the article, we again see the same Kyle Rittenhouse, on the night of 25 August 2020, playing self-appointed armed vigilante, toting his Smith & Wesson AR-15-style .223 rifle with a magazine that held 30 rounds of ammunition (the second of the two, wearing the same white hat, as already seen at the Trump rally in January), walking along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, shortly before the multiple shootings there were to take place.

    If this shows "classic self-defense," as now claimed by his lawyers, then several major questions still need to be answered. Why is a resident of Illinois even in Wisconsin at all, let alone be on Sheridan Road in Kenosha on that date and at that time of night, playing uninvited vigilante, armed to the teeth, at the same time as a peaceful protest against police violence is taking place? Since he is not participating in said peaceful protest, whose "property" is he supposedly "guarding," while aimlessly walking along Sheridan Road behind a second individual who is equally well-armed? Notice that many of the protesters, in the background on the opposite side of the road, are looking across at them, like "wtf?" Obviously, too, this armed pair were being filmed (and followed) by yet others who were equally suspicious of their very presence.

  • 12. JayJonson  |  August 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    What I also find frustrating is all the attention devoted to this little murderous creep, and yet the media has provided very little attention to his victims. I did find some info in a Milwaukee newspaper about one of the victims and the name of the other two. But almost nothing in the national media.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 29, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Jay, the above-quoted article, in its entirety, provides the most-detailed time-line of events as they occurred that night on Sheridan Road in Kenosha, most of which was taken from the criminal complaint, released on Thursday, 27 August 2020.

    The first shooting victim was Joseph Rosenbaum, an individual who was following Rittenhouse, as was a reporter from the "Daily Caller" named Richard McGinnis. After this initial shooting, while McGinnis was attempting to assist the badly injured Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse began running away, but tripped and fell, while others were giving chase.

    His second victim was Anthony Huber, one of those giving chase, who attempted to wrestle the gun away from Rittenhouse, but failed, The third victim, Gaige Grosskreutz, also then confronted Rittenhouse, was shot in the arm, and has survived. Both Rosenbaum and Huber have died.

  • 14. JayJonson  |  August 30, 2020 at 7:54 am

    I read the article, Rick. But have you seen anything about these victims on television news? It's amazing. Right-wingers have raised over $200,000 for the legal defense fund of the murderer, but how many people know the names of the victims? I don't mean to suggest that no one does–only that they are getting much less coverage than the murderer.

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 30, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Jay, I will accept what you have stated as being true and accurate.

    However, following our double catastrophe here in 2017 with Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we eventually discovered, some months later, that neither TV set remained functional, despite our best efforts at protecting all electronic equipment from moisture and water damage. So, rather than attempt to replace them, we chose instead to cut the cable, and save ourselves the monthly cable-TV expense, not that there was any cable-TV service to be had here anyway.

    Then, about 5 or 6 months post-disaster, we were issued a temporary, portable wi-fi box through which we could now finally access the internet. Once I had my internet connection restored, I never looked back, and never enquired again about cable-TV service.

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 27, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    HHS Sued for Ending Data Collection on Tribal, LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care

    The Trump administration is facing a new federal lawsuit from a coalition of LGBTQ, foster care, and Native American groups over removing requirements from the child welfare reporting system to identify tribal children and LGBTQ youth in foster care. The 78-page complaint, which was filed on Thursday, 27 August 2020, in the District Court of the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, challenges the rule change the Department of Health & Human Services and the Administration for Children & Families made final in May to rescind authority of foster care workers to ask about the sexual orientation and tribal identities of youth.

    Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are True Colors, Inc., Ark of Freedom Alliance, and the Detroit-area Ruth Ellis Center, which seek to serve LGBTQ youth, as well as the California Tribal Families Coalition, Yurok Tribe, Cherokee Nation, and Facing Foster Care in Alaska.

    An estimated 430,000 youths are removed from their homes and placed in foster care every year. Although LGBTQ people represent approximately 5 to 10 percent of the general US population, they account for more than 20 percent of female youth and more than 10 percent of male youth in the child welfare system, the lawsuit says.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 27, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Lake Charles LA: Hurricane Laura Destroyed Its Confederate Statue

    In Lake Charles, Louisiana, the fate of a Confederate monument was decided by nature, as Hurricane Laura destroyed the Defenders of the South monument, a racist symbol which once stood on the grounds of the courthouse in Lake Charles.

    This summer, amid a national reckoning on Confederate monuments, protesters called for the statue to be moved to a museum, a point of view shared by Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. The statue was dedicated in 1915, part of a wave of monuments honoring the Confederacy erected during the height of the Jim Crow era.

    But on 13 August 2020, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury voted to keep the statue, the Lafayette "Daily Advertiser" reported. On 27 August 2020, Hurricane Laura reversed that decision. “The Confederate general has fallen,” tweeted Davante Lewis, a director at Louisiana Budget Project, a watchdog organization.

    One can see the bent and twisted remains of the statue, laying on the ground where it fell, after being snapped off of its pedestal, here, as picture #25 in the series showing hurricane damage in and around Lake Charles LA:

  • 18. guitaristbl  |  August 27, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    I am truly afraid if there is one moment the election can be lost for Biden and the Democrats it's this one. The riot and looting narrative is effective and will work well with moderate Republicans and independents. Of course Biden has positioned himself against such actions but I am afraid he is losing ground in sensitive states like Wisconsin and Minnesota as polls show as well. I hope the debates change the agenda a bit or that the Biden team has counter arguments prepared. Republicans have nothing more to latch on but the protests right now and will keep banging it.

  • 19. VIRick  |  August 27, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    This Electoral College map, prepared by the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, and dated 14 July 2020, shows the Democrats with 268 electoral votes to the Republicans 204, with Arizona (11), Florida (29), North Carolina (15), Wisconsin (10), and Nebaska-2 as toss-ups, that is, for a total of 66 to be determined.

    However, this Consensus Forecast, prepared by "270-to-Win," and dated 25 August 2020, shows the Democrats with 278 electoral votes, a gain of 10, to the Republicans 169, a drop of 35, with Arizona (11), Florida (29), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Nebraska-2, and Maine-2 as toss-ups, that is, for a total of 91 to be determined.

    So, during that time-span, from mid-July to late-August, Wisconsin went from "toss-up" to "leaning Democratic," while Georgia, Ohio, and Maine-2 all went from "leaning Republican" to "toss-up."

    In both forecasts, Iowa (6) and Texas (38) continue to be in the "leaning Republican" column, the next two that might possibly be flipped.

    As for the Senate, the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia shows the Democrats with 48, a gain of two, Arizona and Colorado, and the Republicans at 49, with a gain of Alabama. The remaining 3 are "toss-ups," all currently held by Republicans, Iowa (Joni Ernst), Maine (Susan Collins), and North Carolina (Tom Tillis). With a Democratic Vice-President, we need to win 2 of those 3. Without a Democratic Vice-President, we need to win all 3.

    Alternatively, two more states with Republican incumbents, Georgia and Montana, are currently "leaning Republican" again at the Senate level, but could possibly be flipped.

    For several states, it is worth comparing the two races. In Arizona, a strong Democratic Senate candidate could bolster the Democrats' chances of winning that state at the presidential level, while in Iowa, a weak Republican incumbent could lessen the chances of a Republican win at the presidential level. In Maine, a shift in Maine-2 to the Democrats at the presidential level hopefully weakens Collins' chances of re-election. And the same shift at the presidential level in Georgia could influence at least one of the Senate races there.

    But Florida is Florida, too close to call, and so is North Carolina.


  • 20. Fortguy  |  August 28, 2020 at 1:57 am

    If the violence at anti-police protests is hurting Biden, FiveThirtyEight is not seeing it at this time although they don't discount that possibility in the future. Their view is that public attitudes toward the police and BLM are merely regressing toward what they were before the George Floyd killing when Biden also enjoyed a strong lead over Trump. They point out that the movement of college-educated suburbanites, particularly white women, away from Trump and toward more liberal positions on racial issues is real, and that Biden has positioned himself well by condemning the rioting and rejecting calls to defund police. It also helps Biden that BLM activists are keeping their focus on the single issue of police violence while avoiding party politics. Trump has seen an uptick in the polls of late, but that could be a combination of a convention bounce and GOP-leaning independents using the violence as an excuse to rejoin their tribe which they would have done before the election anyway.

    Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight: Could A Backlash Against Black Lives Matter Hurt Biden? The Two Don’t Appear Linked So Far.

    Of course, FiveThirtyEight has their own election forecast updated several times a day in addition to those Rick provided.

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  August 28, 2020 at 5:44 am

    I did read the fivethirtyeight article before posting my comment. But I am afraid Kenosha may be pulling suburbanites away from Biden based on the GOP narrative. Admittedly there isn't much polling but after the Minneapolis incidents Minnesota entered the toss up stage and is evolving into a dead heat between Trump and Biden. Yes Biden can afford to lose Minnesota and Wisconsin but he has to win Florida then for sure.
    Also in their forecast Biden has gone from favoured to slightly favoured to win.

    All I am saying is there needs to be vigilance and mobilization. All these along with tampering with mail in votes from the Trump administration and the usual under representation of Republican vote in certain states can lead to a worrying result.

  • 22. VIRick  |  August 28, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    Here is an Electoral College map just issued today, 28 August 2020, by FiveThirtyEight/ABC showing Biden at 307 electoral votes to Trump's 186.

    In this instance, Florida, rather than being a "toss-up," is "leaning Democratic," as are Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. On the other side, Georgia, rather than being a "toss-up," is back to "leaning Republican," as are Iowa and Maine-2.

    That still leaves 45 electoral votes to be decided, as Arizona, North Carolina, Ohio, and Nebraska-2 continue to remain as "toss-ups."

    However, between Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina, one still needs to be more concerned about winning a minimum of two more Senate seats.

  • 23. Fortguy  |  August 28, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    RealClearPolitics also has a bunch of fun maps. They project 212 for Biden, 115 for Trump, and 211 toss-up votes in 14 states plus one CD each in Maine and Nebraska. The page also has links to a map without toss-ups (Biden: 337, Trump: 201), similar Senate maps with and without toss-ups, competitive House seats, and governors races.

    RealClearPolitics: 2020 Electoral College Map

  • 24. VIRick  |  August 28, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    This RealClearPolitics Electoral College map projects past all of the "toss-ups," and shows Biden at 337 electoral votes to Trump's 201.

    Eventually, Biden wins Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and Nebraska-2, in addition to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. On the other hand, Trump wins Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Maine-2, but with the caveat that North Carolina is truly wavering back and forth, practically in a dead heat, while in Iowa, he barely scrapes by.

    As for the Senate, the RealClearPolitics "no toss-ups" map shows the Democrats gaining 5 seats, that is, both Arizona and Colorado, plus all 3 of the others, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina. On the other side, the Republicans gain Alabama, and cling to both Georgia seats, as well as Montana. The final tally for the new congress is thus: 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans.

    Still, the final Senate tally is going to be close, because if Trump manages to win Iowa, North Carolina, and Maine-2, even if by a hair, it is still somewhat difficult to see how the Democrats win all 3 of those same states' Senate races. And in the last analysis, it really does boil down to those 3 states.

    Of course, in the meantime, absolutely everyone must vote, no matter in which state we happen to be registered, and the sooner the better, given that the menacing hair-do has threatened the USPS, thus challenging everyone's right to vote (but a major mistake on his part, one to which the Democrats must continue reminding voters).

  • 25. Fortguy  |  August 29, 2020 at 2:24 am

    I will second your call to action on the importance of voting this year, and add that it is especially crucial not to skip state legislative races since most of the legislatures seated after this election will be tasked with redistricting following this year's census. The 2010 election was a disaster for Dems, and the GOP took full advantage to gerrymander themselves into congressional and state legislative majorities during most of the decade even in states where Dems won the majority of votes. Dems began clawing their way back in the 2018 blue wave. November will be crucial in having a more fair electoral environment in the next decade.

    Joan Walsh, The Nation: Democrats Are Winning Their Fight for the States

  • 26. VIRick  |  August 27, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Alaska: Anchorage Bans Gay "Conversion Therapy"

    On Wednesday, 26 August 2020, Anchorage became the first Alaska city to protect minors from so-called "conversion therapy," the pseudo-scientific form of mental torture that falsely claims to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity. The Anchorage Assembly’s ordinance prohibits licensed medical professionals from using "conversion therapy" on any person under the age of 18.

    While 75 US cities and 40% of US states now ban conversion therapy for minors, anti-LGBTQ religious groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and the Liberty Counsel have tried to fight ex-gay therapy bans as violations of their “free speech” and “religious freedom,” stating that people should have the right to rid themselves of “gender confusion” and “same-sex attraction.” But the actual methods of ex-gay therapy are shady and questionable. They include telling people not to masturbate, to rigorously exercise, and study the bible. They use “covert aversion” (making LGBTQ identity seem dangerous, unhealthy, and repulsive) and “reframing of desire” onto “heterosexual surrogates” (re-directing sexual desire onto opposite-sex partners).

  • 27. VIRick  |  August 27, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Georgia: Federal Court Rules State Dept. Violated the Law on Birthright Citizenship

    Per Lambda Legal:

    On 27 August 2020, in "Mize and Gregg v. Pompeo," a federal district court in Georgia ordered the Trump Administration to recognize the US citizenship since birth of Simone Mize-Gregg, the two-year-old daughter of a married same-sex couple, and to issue her a US passport. The US State Department had refused to recognize Simone as a US citizen, even though both parents, Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, are US citizens, and children born abroad to heterosexual married US citizens are automatically considered US citizens.

    The lawsuit, filed in 2019 by Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality, sought to challenge the US State Department’s policy that treats the children of married same-sex couples born abroad as “born out-of-wedlock,” denying that they are citizens since birth, in clear violation of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg are a same-sex couple who married in New York in 2015. They had their daughter Simone via surrogacy in England in 2018, and both fathers are listed on her birth certificate. When they applied for recognition of her US citizenship, the US consulate in London rejected their application. Because only one of Simone’s fathers has a biological connection to her, the State Department disregarded Jonathan and Derek’s marriage and treated Simone as though she were born out-of-wedlock, a classification which requires more stringent requirements for recognition of her citizenship.

  • 28. Fortguy  |  August 28, 2020 at 2:59 am

    A popular Texas high school teacher posts inclusive LGBT and BLM posters on the wall of her online virtual classroom. After parents complain led by a GOP state rep candidate, who stands zero chance of winning in November, school officials place the teacher on paid leave. Officials reverse decision after an even larger outcry from people supporting the teacher who says she won't return unless the district implements inclusivity training for the district staff. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Stacy Fernández, The Texas Tribune: A Texas teacher who posted Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ posters in her virtual classroom was placed on leave after parents complained

    This happened in Roma-Los Saenz, a city in Starr County which is the westernmost county of the four-county metro area collectively known as "The Valley" in Texas parlance at the extreme southern tip of the state. The Valley's largest cities are Brownsville and McAllen, but the vast majority live in neither but rather in numerous other cities and towns similar to the municipal conglomerations of northern New Jersey or Orange County, CA.

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 29, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Switzerland: Christian Catholic Church Votes in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Saturday, 29 August 2020, the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland voted in favor of same-sex marriage at a national synod in Zurich, according to RTS. The Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland is part of an offshoot of Catholicism that rejects papal infallibility. The church has about 12,000 adherents, mainly in Basel, Aargau, Solothurn, Zurich, Bern, Geneva, and Lausanne (Vaud), that is, in the modern, industrialized, predominately Protestant cantons in the western part of the country. In that regard, it is likely viewed by the RCs as just another protestant denomination, albeit a more modern breakaway.

    From a theological perspective, according to the church, marriages between two men or two women will be conducted in the same manner as heterosexual marriages. The church also allows women priests. This means, within this denomination, that a woman will soon be able marry two women.

    Actually, according to a companion article in "Le News," about 25% of all Swiss citizens claim no religious affiliation or no religion at all, with most of the above-named cantons being at the highest end of the range, from 47.5% in Baselstadt, 40.3% in Geneva, 31% in Vaud, 30.7% in Solothurn, 28.9% in Baselland, 27.6% in Zurich, to 26.4% in Aargau, all above the national average.

    But the canton I most enjoyed was one not mentioned: Neufchatel. It is the epitome of modern Frenchness, and despite being in Protestant western Switzerland, midway between Geneva and Baselstadt, it has an historic "Catholic" tradition. However, according to this same survey, a full 44.4% of Neufchatel's population actually have no religious affiliation or no religion at all, proving that most French people no longer pretend to even give a shit about religion, be it Roman Catholic, Christian Catholic, Calvinist Protestant, or whatever.

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 29, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Jalisco: Zapopan City Council Approves Recognition of Gender Identity

    Per Morena Diversex Gro:

    Aprueba cabildo de Zapopan (Jalisco) reconocer a personas transgénero. Excelente noticia.

    El Gobierno de Acapulco, la presidenta Adela Roman: No, sigue este ejemplo o el de Rivera Vivanco en Puebla con el matrimonio igualitario.

    Zapopan (Jalisco) city council approves recognition of transgender persons. Excellent news.

    To the Government of Acapulco, Mayor Adela Roman: No, follow this example or that of Rivera Vivanco in Puebla with marriage equality.

    Zapopan (Jalisco), population 1.14 million, consists of a massive suburban sprawl immediately abutting the entire western flank of Guadalajara, population 1.46 million, thus making Zapopan the second-most populous municipality in Jalisco state.

    Although we have had an assortment of city councils all over Mexico vote to allow marriage equality within their municipalities, ahead of their respective state congresses (see post immediately below concerning Guerrero in this regard), Zapopan (the first municipality in Jalisco to allow same-sex couples to marry after the Supreme Court ruling against that state) is now the very first municipality anywhere in Mexico to independently push forward in recognizing gender identity at the municipal level, ahead of their own state congress.

    So far, these jurisdictions have all preceded: CDMX, Michoacán, Nayarit, Coahuila, Baja California, Colima, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, and Chihuahua. To this, we can now add Zapopan (Jalisco).

  • 31. VIRick  |  August 29, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Guerrero: Acapulco and Certain Other Municipalities Continue with Marriage Equality

    Per RNTLGBT:

    En Guerrero, aún no se ha logrado un consenso legislativo para dar luz verde al matrimonio igualitario. No obstante, ha trascendido que en algunos municipios guerrerenses sí se han podido celebrar bodas entre personas de la comunidad.

    In Guerrero, a legislative consensus has still not yet been reached to give the green light to marriage equality. However, it has emerged that in some municipalities in Guerrero they have been able to celebrate marriages between persons from the community.

    Unfortunately, said municipalities are not named, other than to state, as an advertisement:

    Viaja con Orgullo por Acapulco.

    Travel with Pride to Acapulco.

    So, as a tourist draw during the pandemic, Acapulco must have finally decided to begin marrying same-sex couples. That would seemingly match with the exhortation, above, from Morena Diversex Gro, encouraging the Acapulco city council to continue moving forward with gender identity recognition, as was just approved in Zapopan, Jalisco.

    RNTLGBT = Red Nacional de Turísmo LGBTQ de México, 10 estados unidos para promover y desarrollar el turismo diverso e incluyente en nuestro país.

    RNTLGBT = National Network of LGBTQ Tourism of Mexico, 10 states united to promote and develop diversity and inclusive tourism in our country.

  • 32. ianbirmingham  |  August 30, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Map of self-declared "LGBT-free" areas in Poland

  • 33. VIRick  |  August 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    This map of Poland showing the "LGBT-free" zones is both intriguing and pathetic because approximately 50% of Poland that "never moved" has proclaimed such.

    As Poland is currently constituted, it is comprised of 16 provinces. The 4 provinces in the south-east quadrant have all proclaimed themselves to be "LGBT-free" at the provincial level, in addition to many duplicating county-wide and municipal declarations throughout the same southeast region.

    The remaining 12 provinces have not done so. However, in 4 of them, running in a stripe from south-central to northeast, approximately 9 counties and an assortment of additional municipalities have also issued such "LGBT-free" declarations.

    That leaves just 8 provinces, all in western Poland, to be free from having had these restrictive declarations imposed upon them by pandering political authorities foolishly proclaiming themselves and their regions to be "LGBT-free" zones.

    But Poland has "moved." Prior to WWII (and without delving directly into the horror show of Hitler, the Holocaust, and WWII itself), 6 of those same 8 provinces in western Poland were in Germany. After WWII, on the other side of the country, in the east, Poland lost about twice as much territory to the Soviet Union (now re-constituted as part of independent Lithuania, Belarus, or Ukraine), as to what it gained from Germany in the west at the same time.

    Thus, from the time Poland itself was re-constituted as an independent nation in the aftermath of WWI, only 10 of Poland's 16 provinces have been in Poland throughout that time interval. And of those, 4 have proclaimed themselves to be "LGBT-free" zones, while assorted counties and municipalities in 4 more have done the same. So, here they are, blatantly discriminating, despite all the other garbage, from Hitler to the Holocaust, to two world wars and a post-war Soviet occupation, that has befallen Poland in the last century, while not too much of Poland even remained in Poland.

    Instead, these people should be counting themselves as among the lucky ones, first because they and their immediate ancestors survived, rather than be exterminated and/or killed in either war, and second, because they were not displaced, like millions of others in the immediate vicinity. But, no. Instead, they still need to blame some one else, to be cast out and expended as the "other." And for that, they are truly pathetic.

  • 34. VIRick  |  August 30, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    Hawaii: The Only Out LGBTQ Elected Official in the State

    Adrian Tam, 28, running for the Hawaii state House of Representatives, is on his way to becoming the only out LGBTQ elected official in the entire state. On 8 August 2020, Tam won the Democratic primary for District 22, defeating incumbent Tom Brower, who has represented the district since 2006. On 3 November, Tam will now face off against Republican Nicholas Ochs. Tam is expected to win.

    Tam has long been a advocate for the rights of LGBTQ Hawaiians. In fact, while working for state Senator Stanley Chang, he wrote the bill that banned "conversion therapy" for minors, a bill that passed in 2018. “That was by far one of the proudest days that I’ve had working for a legislator, especially when Governor Ige then signed it,” he said.

    Tam also guided an intern in Cheng’s office through the writing of the bill banning the “gay panic” defense in Hawaii, one which Tam said passed easily.

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  August 30, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Polish bishops call for "clinics to help LGBT people regain natural sexual orientation"

  • 36. ianbirmingham  |  August 30, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    A Matter Of Life Or Death, HBO’s ‘Welcome To Chechnya’ Exposes The Medieval Persecution Of LGBT People In The Russian Republic

  • 37. VIRick  |  August 31, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Kifkif, the Arabic-Speaking LGBTI Migrant/Refugee Organization in Spain

    Per Kifkif Iguales:

    Gracias al apoyo de Out Right Intl, hemos podido asistir en España a más de 500 personas migrantes y refugiadas LGTBI en esta crisis del COVID-19. Out Right Intl es una de las principales organizaciones LGTBI de las Naciones Unidas y un apoyo fundamental de Kifkif.

    Thanks to the support of Out Right Intl, we have been able to assist more than 500 LGTBI migrants and refugees in Spain during this COVID-19 crisis. Out Right Intl is one of the main LGTBI organizations of the United Nations and a fundamental supporter of Kifkif.

    Although Kifkif Iguales will assist LGBTI migrants/refugees from anywhere in the world, their main focus has been on those fleeing the Magreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia). In Arabic/Spanish, "Kifkif Iguales" roughly translates as "Equal Is Enough."

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