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9/8 open thread UPDATE 9/9


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

UPDATE The Gloucester County School board is asking the full Fourth Circuit to rehear the case about Gavin Grimm’s school records and the school’s anti-transgender bathroom policies. A three-judge panel of the court recently ruled in favor of Grimm.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  September 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Patriarch Filaret: "COVID-19 Is God's Punishment for Gays" Now Hospitalized with COVID-19

    Ukraine’s Patriarch Filaret of Kiev, the patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, one of the biggest branches of Christianity in the country, one that claims it has 15 million followers in the nation of 42 million people, and who has previously blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTQ people, even doubling down with his ingrained ignorance on multiple occasions in multiple statements, has now been hospitalized with complications from COVID-19.….

    Today's church announcement concerning Patriarch Filaret's health status did not elaborate as to whether this lung inflammation diagnosis (pneumonia) now proves that Patriarch Filaret, by his own foolish standard, is "coming out" as officially gay.

    Separate question: Does the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have altar boys? I ask because the point remains a mystery, given that in the Finnish Orthodox Church (Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki) there is a wide scrim covered with icons blocking the view so that the lowly peons who are forced to stand, huddled together in the rear vestibule, can not gaze through into the inner sanctum. As a result, one can only hear the chanting in Russian, which to my ears was reminiscent of the songs of the Volga boatmen.

  • 2. VIRick  |  September 8, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Panamá: CIDH Grants Marriage Equality Hearing to Fundación Iguales

    Per TVN:

    CIDH Otorga Audiencia a Fundación Iguales para Tema Matrimonio Igualitario en Panamá

    IACHR Grants Hearing to Fundación Iguales on Marriage Equality Issue in Panamá

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) has granted a public audience to the Panamá-based marriage equality organization, Fundación Iguales. The hearing (audiencia) will be held in Washington, DC, on 2 October 2020, and will pertain to a single issue in one specific country: Marriage equality in Panamá. To date, Panamá has failed to implement the Inter-American Court's binding 2017 marriage equality ruling, OC-24/17.

    Per Iván Chanis, President of Fundación Iguales:

    Panamá ratificó la Convención Americana de Derechos Humanos, por lo que tiene que adecuar su legislación a sus estándares de respeto a la dignidad de todas las personas, sin discriminación. Desde 2016, la Corte Suprema (de Panamá) niega el derecho al matrimonio a parejas del mismo sexo.

    Panamá ratified the American Convention on Human Rights, so it has to adapt its legislation to the standards of respect for the dignity of all persons, without discrimination. Since 2016, the Supreme Court (of Panamá) has denied the right to marriage to same-sex couples.

  • 3. arturo547  |  September 9, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    It's not clear for me if this is a lawsuit or something that can eventually lead to the Inter-American Court taking a marriage case. As far as I am concerned, international lawsuits take place when there is no other instance at the national level. And up to now the Panama Supreme Court has not issued a decisión Yet

  • 4. VIRick  |  September 9, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    If I understand the process correctly, it is a two-step procedure. First, the Commission holds a public hearing (audiencia) on the complaint (in this instance, one filed by Fundación Iguales de Panamá) on the specific, requested subject of marriage equality (or more accurately, the lack thereof, given their previous binding ruling in OC-24/17).

    Then, depending upon the findings of the Commission, assuming the findings prove to be substantive, the matter is then referred to the Court for a decision (technically, an Opinión Consultiva), but one which is binding upon all signatory nations that are parties to the accord. Panamá is a signatory party. Actually, OC-24/17 is already a binding decision upon Panamá, Chile, Perú, and the rest, but a second, (scathing) nation-specific decision can also be rendered. For example, Chile already has both, the nation-specific ruling in the case of "Atala v. Chile," as well as that of OC-24/17.

    So far, the highest courts in both Costa Rica and Ecuador have subsequently ruled in accord with OC-24/17, while the courts in Bolivia are in process of doing the same, having specifically cited OC-24/17 in reaching their decision. The unanswered question is this: Can a decision from the CIDH force marriage equality upon Panamá, absent a ruling from its own Supreme Court? Fundación Iguales is taking us into uncharted territory, as this is the first instance of such a complaint since OC-24/17, but one which is needed.

    I surmise that in the end, the CIDH will issue orders telling the Supreme Court of Panamá exactly how it must rule (but in a broad, generic manner) in the several consolidated marriage equality cases pending before it. That is essentially what it did in OC-24/17, following the inquiry made by the government of Costa Rica. In that instance, the real surprise was that that ruling not only covered marriage equality, but also gender identity, and was not to apply solely to Costa Rica, but rather, to all the member states who were signatories to the accord. Panamá already knows this, as do all the others. Their only "excuse" for procrastinating comes from the fact that OC-24/17 does not contain a time-frame for compliance.

    I doubt if the CIDH will attempt to render specific decisions on any of the pending marriage equality cases currently before the Supreme Court of Panamá, as their blanket ruling in OC-24/17 already covers all possible permutations on the theme. Instead, their follow-up ruling may well be more along the lines of "¿Qué parte de la palabra "vinculante" todavía no se entiende?" (Que parte da palavra "vinculação" ainda não foi compreendida? What part of the word "binding" is still not understood?), and then extend to explain in detail why "vinculante" truly means "vinculante," citing the several accords to which Panamá and all the others are signatory parties. In this regard, what would be a surprise is if they were to set a specific time-frame by which it would be expected that all the signatory parties were to be in compliance.

  • 5. VIRick  |  September 8, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    Israel: A Push in the Knesset for Civil Marriage, Including LGBT Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Knesset is exploring options to allow civil marriages, including LGBT marriages, as couples currently can not travel abroad for non-religious marriages due to COVID-19.

    Per "Jerusalem Post:"

    Now is the perfect time to legalize civil marriage in Israel. Couples who are ineligible for marriage through the rabbinate are also now not able to fly abroad, making civil marriage (which is not currently legal in Israel) an imperative. Thousands of Israeli couples cannot get married due to the COVID-19 pandemic, because they are not eligible to marry through the Chief Rabbinate and cannot fly abroad to conduct civil-marriage ceremonies.

    This is an issue that touches many people and goes to the very heart of Israel’s nature as a democratic, Jewish state. There are an estimated half a million citizens of Israel, whose population now stands at over nine million, who are classified as having no religion and are not considered Jewish according to Halacha. Many are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, while others are members of the LGBTQ community. Still others who had a non-Orthodox conversion must also marry through civil institutions, as must couples of mixed faith.

    The Interior Ministry recognizes and registers marriages held abroad upon presentation of the proper documentation, including civil, interfaith, and same-sex marriages, but Israel’s religious authorities are prohibited from marrying couples unless both partners share the same religion, meaning that interfaith couples can only be legally married (in Israel) if one of the partners converts to the religion of the other.

    Until the coronavirus outbreak, marriages abroad were popular, with thousands of couples registering marriages from overseas every year. Since the country’s borders were closed due to COVID-19 six months ago, Israeli couples have been unable to travel abroad to places like Cyprus or the Czech Republic to get married.

    On Monday, 7 September 2020, the Knesset Interior Committee held a session on the matter at the request of MKs Evgeny Sova (Yisrael Beytenu), Andrey Kozhinov (Yesh Atid-Telem), Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and Sharren Haskel (Likud). Two possible solutions were proposed: The first, presented by Sova and Kozhinov, is to allow couples to marry in civil ceremonies at the embassies of foreign countries in Israel. The second, proposed by Horowitz, is to temporarily expand the 2010 law that allows two people classified as “without religion” to marry in a civil ceremony within Israel to also include citizens who cannot marry through the rabbinate or other religious institutions.

    Note: From 1971 onward, in the first aliyah, a large number of people from the Soviet Union whose inherited "nationality" there was listed on their passports as "Jewish" were taken in by Israel under the "Law of Return," but by Israeli standards can not adequately prove their Jewishness (about 26% of the total, likely because their mother was not Jewish, only their father or grandfather). A second post-Soviet aliyah occurred from 1989-2006. In both waves, many only went to Israel temporarily, as a means of immediately escaping from Soviet/post-Soviet authorities when they were suddenly allowed to depart, and have now moved on to third countries. But a certain number have remained, and are the non-Halacha group cited above.

  • 6. VIRick  |  September 10, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Northern Ireland: Government Is Set to Ban Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    "Conversion therapy" for LGBT people is set to be banned in Northern Ireland under plans agreed between ministers yesterday, 8 September 2020. Communities Minister Carál Ni Chuilín agreed to take the policy lead on the issue at a meeting with colleagues, Health Minister Robin Swann and Justice Minister Naomi Long.

    In the Republic, the Irish coalition government there has already committed in its recent program for government to legislate to also ban anti-LGBT "conversion therapy" south of the border.

  • 7. Elihu_Bystander  |  September 11, 2020 at 4:55 am

    Off topic, but appropriate for the 19th anniversary of 9/11, especially for the LGBTQ community.

    The Unique Spirituality of Father Mychal Judge

  • 8. Elihu_Bystander  |  September 11, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pardoned a US Marine convicted of killing a transgender woman.

    "The death of Jennifer Laude occurred on October 11, 2014, in Olongapo, Philippines, when the 26-year-old Filipina trans woman was killed by 19-year-old Joseph Scott Pemberton." (Wikipedia)

  • 9. VIRick  |  September 11, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    South Korea: Anti-Discrimination Bill Receives Lukewarm Support from Catholic Bishops

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A South Korean bill banning discrimination across 26 different categories has hesitant support from the Catholic bishops of the country, who (foolishly) caution (in a pearl-clutching, "sky-is-falling" warning) that it could also lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage, as well as to “reverse discrimination” against traditional understandings of marriage, family, and gender, (despite the fact that the anti-discrimination measure does not even mention marriage equality nor does it deal with "family").

    The anti-discrimination bill being debated was introduced by Rep. Jang Hye-young in June 2020, and is one of several such bills to have been proposed in recent years. Similar bills have been defeated, "The Korea Times" reported, due to strong opposition from influential, politically conservative Protestant groups in the country. According to "The Korea Times," the current bill has support from the (majority) Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, while (most of the more fanatical fringe) Protestant groups are largely opposed, though some (who are more mainstream) have voiced their support for it.

    Note: All words in parentheses have been added for clarity.

  • 10. VIRick  |  September 11, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Baja California Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality a Third Time

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Van Otra Vez por Matrimonios Igualitarios en Congreso de Baja California

    El presidente de la Comisión de Gobernación, Legislación, y Puntos Constitucionales (Cglpc), diputado Juan Manuel Molina García, informó que este órgano de trabajo legislativo actualmente analiza y dictamina una iniciativa suscrita por 12 diputados de este poder legislativo, la cual tiene el propósito de incluir la figura del matrimonio sin distinguir el sexo de los contrayentes.

    Indicó que esta propuesta, misma que pretende reformar el Artículo 7 de Constitución de Baja California y diversos artículos del Código Civil del Estado, le fue turnada el 10 septiembre 2020 por el presidente de la Mesa Directiva de la vigésima tercera legislatura estatal, diputado Julio César Vázquez Castillo.

    The president of the Governance, Legislation, and Constitutional Points Committee (Cglpc), deputy Juan Manuel Molina García, reported that this legislative work body is currently analyzing and drafting an initiative signed by 12 deputies of this congress, which has the purpose of including the figure of marriage without distinguishing the sex of the contracting parties.

    He indicated that this proposal, which aims to reform Article 7 of the Baja California Constitution and various articles of the State Civil Code, was handed over to him on 10 September 2020 by the president of the Board of Directors of the twenty-third state legislature, Deputy Julio César Vázquez Castillo.

    The first time, 15 of the 25 deputies voted in favor. The second time, the measure received 16 favorable votes. However, 17 votes are presently needed, as a 2/3rds majority must vote in favor in order to change wording in the state Constitution. To change wording in the state Civil Code, 13 votes are needed.

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 12, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Washington State: Surviving Same-Sex Spouses Win Right to Social Security Benefits

    On Friday, 11 September 2020, a federal court ruled that the Social Security Administration’s blanket denial of Social Security survivor’s benefits to same-sex spouses who were prevented from marrying is unconstitutional, as the law itself that had kept them from marrying has been found to be unconstitutional. The ruling came in the case of Helen Thornton, a resident of Washington State who sought to claim survivor’s benefits based on her 27-year relationship with Marge Brown, who died in 2006, six years before same-sex couples in the state had the right to marry.

    Brown had a more extensive work record than Thornton, who supplements her own modest Social Security income by taking care of animals, notes a press release from Lambda Legal, which represented Thornton, along with attorneys from the firm of Nossaman LLP. Thornton applied for the benefits in 2015, shortly before she would have been eligible to receive them at age 60. But the SSA turned her down because she and Brown had not been legally married, even though state law prevented them from marrying. She then filed suit in 2018 in US District Court for the Western District of Washington State.

    On Friday, in "Thornton v. Saul," (formerly "Thornton v. Berryhill,") Judge James L. Robart, ruled that the denial of the benefits violated the US Constitution. He also certified the case as a national class-action, meaning others who have sought the benefits and have been denied simply because they were unable to marry their partner, will have an avenue to claim them.

    The court “believes that the appropriate form of relief to provide to the class is an order that requires the Administration to (1) re-adjudicate class members’ claims for survivor’s benefits, and (2) refrain from denying class members’ claims solely on the basis that class members were not married to their same-sex partner,” he wrote. In his ruling, he was adopting the recommendation made by a magistrate judge on 31 January 2020.

    On 27 May 2020, in a different federal case that had been filed in Arizona, "Ely v. Saul," (formerly "Ely v. Berryhill,") Lambda Legal won a separate class-action lawsuit on behalf of same-sex couples who had been able to marry, but not for the minimum nine months prior to the death of one's spouse, as previously required by the SSA for receiving survivor’s benefits. Again, the law itself that had kept them from marrying any sooner had been found to be unconstitutional, thus rendering the SSA denial on those grounds equally unconstitutional. The Social Security Administration has appealed that decision.

  • 12. VIRick  |  September 12, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Chasten Buttigieg: Growing Up Gay in Middle America

    Chasten Buttigieg, Mayor Pete's husband, has written a recently-released autobiography entitled, " I Have Something to Tell You." Born Chasten James Glezman on 23 June 1989, he grew up in rural Chum's Corner in Grand Traverse County in the northwestern corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan (pop. 946).

    I don’t remember “seeing” any gay people in person growing up…. What I do remember, most vividly, are the words fag and faggot and sissy — descriptors for boys who were different, feminine, soft — being tossed around in the locker room and in the hallways. I dodged them daily.

    The classic move was to push me into a locker while calling me a “freak,” but the comments about my sexuality were much more hurtful than this general term. Something in those insults told me other kids knew more about me than I did myself, and I didn’t like it….

    One day, after gym class, a group of guys had just emerged from the shower in their towels, and as I was lacing up my shoes, they surrounded me and started taunting me. Out came the insults and accusations. “You like what you see, faggot?” “Stop looking at my dick, faggot.” I gathered my stuff and hustled away.

    “I don’t think I truly began to believe in myself until someone like Peter came along, looked me in the eye, and said, ‘You know I believe in you, right?’ I was so wrapped up in the ways I felt broken, and he was so wrapped up in the ways I made him feel whole.”

    Eleven years after running away from home, Chasten found himself — like Leonard Matlovich and Ellen Degeneres before him — on the cover of TIME magazine, with his husband standing in front of their own home for an article about the possible first gay First Family.

  • 13. VIRick  |  September 13, 2020 at 11:39 am

    India: Second Marriage Equality Lawsuit Filed in Delhi High Court

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The following account pertains to the second marriage equality case to be filed in India. High Court rulings in India have national effect unless another High Court has ruled the opposite way.

    Right of Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Recognized under Hindu Marriage Act

    Despite the Supreme Court decriminalizing homosexuality in India, same-sex marriage is still not being allowed under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1956, said a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Delhi High Court. The public suit, filed in early September 2020, urged the issuance of a declaration to the effect that since Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1956 does not distinguish between homosexual and heterosexual couples, the right of same-sex couples to marry should be recognized under said Act.

    The PIL, filed by advocates Raghav Awasthi and Mukesh Sharma, said that the petitioners have filed the petition for enforcement of fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India. The petition said that as of now, the law sees the members of the LGBT community as individuals only and not as couples. It said that LGBT community members are forced to suppress their feelings of getting married to the person of their own choice. The plea raised the issue that denying the LGBT community the option to marry is absolutely discriminatory and treats them a second-class citizens.

    Homosexual couples should have access to the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples, the petition said. It said that there is nothing in the Hindu Marriage Act of 1956 that mandates that marriage should take place only between a Hindu man and a Hindu woman and added that Section 5 of the Act clearly lays down that marriage can be performed between "any two Hindus."

    "That it is further submitted that despite the fact that there is absolutely no statutory bar under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1956 and the Special Marriage Act of 1954 against gay marriage, the same are not being registered throughout the country and also in Delhi," the plea said. "As a result of the same, there are many benefits that would otherwise be available to homosexual married couples that are not available to them," it added.

    The plea said that the petition has been filed for the benefit of homosexual and transgender persons, which it claimed constitute around five to ten percent of the country's population. The prohibition of the marriage of LGBT people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is absolute discrimination towards them and is also violative of the Right to Equality as granted by the Constitution of India, the plea said.

    It said that the now well-admitted fact that the Right to Marry is a part of the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. "That Right to Marry is also stated under the Human Rights Charter within the meaning of the right to start a family. The Right to Marry is a universal right and it is available to everyone irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity," the plea said.

    Note: The Special Marriage Act of 1954 allows for civil, non-religious marriages to take place in India.

  • 14. VIRick  |  September 14, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    India: First Hearing in Delhi High Court on Marriage Equality Petition

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Today, 14 September 2020, the Delhi High Court began hearing the second Indian marriage equality case, requesting a list of same-sex couples denied marriage registration, and will then continue hearing the case on 21 October.

    Abhijit Iyer Mitra, a member of the LGBT community, Gopi Shankar M, a Tamil Nadu-based intersex activist who contested the 2016 assembly elections, Giti Thandari, founder member of Sakhi Collective Journal of contemporary and historical lesbian life in India, and G. Oorsavi, a transgender activist, are the petitioners.

    The bench is comprised of Chief Justice JN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.

    Today, the Solicitor-General, Tushar Mehta, representing the Union of India, opposed the plea of the petitioners, claiming that the concept of same-sex marriage is not recognized under Indian culture or under Indian law.

    The bench, however, suggested that such petitions should be looked at with an open mind — the petitioners could try and get their marriage registered first and approach the court then if they were denied.

    This website, "Live Law," does not allow for my usual copy-and-paste. In fact, it requires a subscription, payable in Indian rupees.

  • 15. VIRick  |  September 13, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    India: Update on First Still-Pending Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit in Kerala High Court

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Kerala Couple Move High Court to Have their Marriage Registered

    Nikesh and Sonu, the first married gay couple from Kerala who were married in 2019 have now (as of late January 2020) filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking to legally register their marriage.

    In their petition, they argued that the refusal to register homosexual marriages under the Special Marriage Act of 1954 violates the principles of equality, non-arbitrariness, non-discrimination, individual dignity, and personal autonomy under Articles 14, 15(1), 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution of India. Justice Anu Sivaraman admitted the writ petition filed by them and issued notices to the governments of Centre (that is, to the national government) and Kerala, (the state government).

    Nikesh, a businessman, and Sonu, an IT professional, had met each other in May 2018 and fell in love. The couple who adhere to the Hindu faith wanted to be married in a temple as per Hindu rituals. But in July 2019 when they went to the Guruvayoor Temple, the authorities there would not solemnize their marriage nor issue a certificate. They were then forced to marry in a secret ceremony at the car parking area of the temple.

    The petitioners cited the Supreme Court’s 2018 judgment in "Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India," which recognized a person’s right to sexual identity and to be treated with dignity for that identity. Any law that contradicts this disrespects individual choice, the SC judgment had concluded.

    They also argued that exclusion from the institution of marriage denied them ordinary rights and privileges. “The institution of marriage affords certain rights and privileges to persons in matrimony in the society, and due to the aforesaid exclusion, homosexual couples like the petitioners are denied an opportunity to enjoy similar rights and privileges. Being married carries along with it the right to maintenance, the right of inheritance, a right to own joint bank accounts, lockers; to nominate each other as a nominee in insurance, pension, gratuity papers, etc. All these are unavailable to the Petitioners due to their exclusion from the institution of marriage, making the said exclusion more discriminatory,” the petition reads.

    Though the Supreme Court had in 2018 scrapped Section 377 and decriminalized homosexuality, the verdict stopped short of making gay marriages legal.

  • 16. VIRick  |  September 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Marriage Equality Thought for the Day

    Per Alonso de Blanco:

    El 100% de los divorcios son de los heterosexuales, de tal manera, se hace inevitable deducir que el matrimonio heterosexual no es el modelo adecuado para conformar una familia.

    Since 100% of divorces are from heterosexuals, it makes it inevitable to deduce that heterosexual marriage is not the appropriate model for forming a family.

  • 17. VIRick  |  September 13, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Chile: Another Child Is Born with Two Mothers

    Per Doctora Andrea Huneeus:

    Nacimientos de Clínica Alemana (13 de septiembre 2020)

    Ha nacido Joaquín León, hijo de la señora Ana María Mellado Sepúlveda y de la señora Rocío Belén Fernández Nazar.

    Per Juan Enrique Pi, director de Iguales Chile:

    Los hijos e hijas de parejas del mismo sexo siguen naciendo, y siguen siendo discriminados por el Estado que les impide tener su doble filiación determinada e inscrita. El proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario soluciona integralmente las discriminaciones a familias LGBTI.

    Children of same-sex couples continue being born, and continue being discriminated against by the State, which prevents them from having their double parentage determined and registered. The marriage equality bill fully resolves the discrimination against LGBTI families.

    Per Rocío Belén Fernández Nazar, one of the child's two mothers:

    Pero lucharemos para mi hijo sea reconocido legalmente por sus dos madres. En Chile, pueden pasar años.

    But we will fight for my son to be legally recognized as his having two mothers. In Chile, it can take years.

  • 18. VIRick  |  September 14, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Minot ND: Councilwoman Gives Epic Smackdown to Homophobe at City Council

    Minot, North Dakota, city councilwoman Carrie Evans is the only out lesbian elected to public office in the state, but apparently some constituents didn’t get the message because when one resident took to the floor of the council chambers to complain about a Pride flag, Evans let him have it in one of the most epic political smackdowns ever recorded. The city had planned to fly the flag during June, but postponed after coronavirus prevention measures forced the cancellation of Pride events nationwide. Instead, realizing that festivals simply weren’t happening this year, the flag was put up earlier this month.

    “So Mr. Walker, if you’re not aware,” Evans started, “and I think a lot of people in this room are not aware, and have come here just because this is a gay issue, I am proudly the first openly elected lesbian in North Dakota. So that is why I am not paying any heed to your crap.”

    “We, the people. I’m the people. I live in Minot. I am a taxpayer. I am a person. I get to see myself represented on that flagpole just as much as the people who got the Juneteenth flag last month, as much as the POW/MIA will get later this month. Every single person is entitled to see themselves represented,” she continued. “We are not some group of people who live in San Francisco or Seattle. We are here. We are your elected officials. We are your brothers. We are your sisters. And don’t tell me you’re not filled with hatred or anger. That’s all I feel. I’ve had to listen to it for days now, as has the mayor and many of my colleagues. It is unacceptable.”

    “This city is big enough for all of us. Me having a flag flying does not take away anything from your rights. But you know what it does for me? It shows me I live in a city that appreciates and embraces me, and my community. And I can live here and feel safe. That’s what it does. I’m sorry that it doesn’t make you feel comfortable, but we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going away!”

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  September 14, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    How Beijing approaches gender equality and LGBT issues on the world stage

    Beijing has worked at the U.N. to marginalize women’s rights defenders — critical actors for promoting gender equality — and has consistently voted against measures to strengthen visibility and protection of LGBT people’s human rights.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  September 14, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Indian Govt: Indian Culture Doesn’t Recognise Same-Sex Marriages

    While last week marked the second anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court judgment which decriminalised consensual gay sex, queer rights in India still have a long way to go.

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