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SCOTUS denies review in LGBT birth certificate case seen as challenge to Obergefell

Marriage equality

The Washington Blade reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court, which many predicted would roll back LGBTQ rights with its new 6-3 conservative majority, has turned down a request to hear a case that would have undercut the guarantee of full marriage equality for same-sex couples nationwide.

In its orders list Monday, the court without explanation signaled it had denied certiorari in the case, known as Box v. Henderson, which seeks to undermine the Obergefell v. Hodges decision in terms of birth certificates for children born to lesbian parents.

The denial was one-sentence, with no noted dissents. This was Justice Barrett’s second opportunity to vote whether or not to hear a case related to LGBT rights. Last Monday, the Court denied review in a sweeping anti-transgender case.

More here.


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  December 14, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Japanese city of Akashi to certify same-sex couples, children as ‘family’; a first in Japan

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  December 14, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Same-sex couples are now adopting 1 in 6 children in England

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 14, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    US Supreme Court Is on a Serious Roll Defending Established Rights

    Today, 14 December 2020, the same date on which the US Supreme Court denied certiorari to the Indiana state petition in the marriage equality case, "Box v. Henderson," it also denied certiorari to the Kansas state petition in the "proof of citizenship" voting rights case, "Schwab v. Fish."

    The Kansas petition sought to re-establish a severe voting restriction crafted by former Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, the notorious "voter fraud" clown who Trump had put in charge of "investigating" phony "voter fraud" conspiracies following the 2016 election, mostly focused on Trump's ridiculous allegation that he would have also won the popular vote were it not for the 3 million-plus "illegal" votes from California cast against his fragile ego (an ugly portent of what lay in store for us in 2020 when he actually lost both the popular vote and the Electoral College).

    By denying the state’s petition, the Supreme Court upheld rulings by the federal District Court for Kansas and by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that found Kansas’ proof of citizenship law to be unconstitutional.

    The law, which went into effect in 2013, required prospective voters to provide a birth certificate, passport, or other documentation to prove their status as US citizens before they could register to vote, a measure that the law’s supporters said would prevent non-citizens from voting. But the law also resulted in thousands of US citizens going into a suspended voter registration status for the 2014 election. Since 2016, because of the ongoing legal challenges, this restrictive law has not been enforced. And now it is dead, while setting precedent that such restrictive voter suppression measures are unconstitutional.

    From the Order List 592 U.S.:
    "20-109 SCHWAB, SEC. OF STATE OF KS V. FISH, STEVEN W., ET AL. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Justice Gorsuch took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition."

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  December 15, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Marvel Comics confirms its Guardians Of The Galaxy character Star-Lord is both polyamorous and bisexual ("bi-poly")

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  December 15, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Biden picks Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, making him both the most senior gay official confirmed by the Senate & the first LGBTQ person nominated to Biden's administration

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  December 15, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Hungary amends constitution to redefine family, effectively banning gay adoption

  • 7. VIRick  |  December 16, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Switzerland: Final Vote on "Marriage For All" Scheduled for 18 December 2020

    On Friday, 18 December 2020, the full, joint Federal Assembly will take a final vote on the marriage equality bill that has already passed separately in both chambers. The assembly is then expected to declare the “Marriage for All” bill law, after which conservatives are expected to call for a referendum to challenge it, a referendum that ultimately is extremely unlikely to succeed.

    The Swiss Green Liberal Party first introduced the “Marriage for All” legislation in 2013. Scheduled votes were delayed several times before the Council of States, the Federal Assembly’s upper house, first approved it on 1 December 2020. The National Council, which is the Federal Assembly’s lower house, then passed that precise version eight days later, on 9 December, having already passed their own, similar version months ago.

    Thus, from Friday, with or without a possible referendum, Switzerland, by law, will become country #30 with marriage equality.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2020 at 12:31 am

    Wonderful! I expect Lichtenstein will likely follow suit soon.

  • 9. VIRick  |  December 18, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Switzerland: Marriage Equality Officially Becomes Law

    On Friday, 18 December 2020, lawmakers in both chambers of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland gave final approval to a marriage equality bill first introduced seven years ago. The “Marriage for All” legislation again passed in the 200-member National Council, which is the Federal Assembly’s lower house, by a 136-48 vote margin, with 9 abstentions and 7 absences, even with the conservative Swiss People’s Party's 53-seat bloc. The 46-member Council of States, the Federal Assembly’s upper house, again approved the bill by a 24-11 vote margin, with 7 abstentions and 4 absences, but this time with an actual majority in favor. With those final votes of approval, the complete measure has now become law.

    Among many other points, under the legislation approved by parliament on Friday, transgender individuals, 16 and older, will be able to change their gender on identity documents by making a simple self-declaration at civil registry offices.

    As of 18 December 2020, with the successful conclusion of the long drawn-out legislative process, Switzerland has become nation #30 worldwide with marriage equality. However, an assortment of news sources are claiming it to be nation #29 to do so. This lower number appears to be based on ILGA World's recent report on the status of such among nations who are members of the United Nations. Taiwan is no longer a UN member, but marriage equality is legal there; thus, there are now 30. Rex Wockner agrees:

    As does Daniel Berezowsky:

    At the moment, Wikipedia still states that there are 29, including Taiwan, as they have yet to up-date their list to account for Switzerland being added. Andorra will undoubtedly soon become #31.

    In Switzerland, the law itself will finally be implemented once the 100-day time-frame for any referendum challenge has past. Opponents have 100 days to collect the 50,000 signatures needed to trigger such a referendum. If we wait to count Switzerland until after its date of implementation, Andorra might well pass it by, as Andorra ought to be able to implement its law as soon as the French President signs it.

  • 10. VIRick  |  December 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Ohio: Ban on Correcting Transgender Birth Certificates Declared Unconstitutional

    Today, 16 December 2020, the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio struck down a discriminatory state policy that prevented transgender people born in Ohio from correcting the gender marker on their birth certificates. The decision was issued in "Ray v. McCloud, Director of Ohio Dept. of Health," the lawsuit filed more than two years ago by Lambda Legal, the ACLU, the ACLU of Ohio, and Thompson Hine on behalf of plaintiffs Stacie Ray, Basil Argento, Ashley Breda, and Jane Doe.

    The Opinion and Order is here:

    Prior to today's ruling, Ohio was one of just two remaining US states which have refused to change the gender marker on birth certificates for individuals born within the state of their birth. Today's ruling now makes Tennessee the very last state still stubbornly clinging to its ban. Tennessee's policy is being challenged in a separate Lambda Legal lawsuit, "Gore v. Lee."

  • 11. VIRick  |  December 16, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Pete Buttigieg Nominated to Head Dept. of Transportation

    Per Pete Buttigieg, Nominee for Secretary of Transportation. Husband, veteran, writer, Democrat, South Bend’s former Mayor Pete. Boot-Edge-Edge. (he/him)

    I'm mindful of the history of this appointment, knowing this is the first time an American president has ever sent an openly LGBTQ cabinet appointee to the Senate for confirmation.

  • 12. VIRick  |  December 16, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Mexico City: First Openly Gay Commander of Transport Police

    Per Javier Berain:

    Hoy me gradué del Diplomado para Mandos Habilitados de la UPCDMX SSC. Agradezco la confianza que O. Harfuch ha depositado en mi. Es un honor ser la primer persona abiertamente de la comunidad LBGTI en ser habilitado como mando de la SSC CDMX

    Today I graduated with the Diploma for Qualified Leaders from the UPCDMX SSC. I appreciate the trust that O. Harfuch has placed in me. It is an honor to be the first openly gay person from the LBGTI community to be qualified as a commander of the SSC CDMX.

    UPCDMX = Universidad De La Policía De La Ciudad De México
    SSC = Secretaría de Securidad Civil (Ministry of Public Security)

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  December 16, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Georgia county won by Biden, Clinton registers nearly 10,000 new voters before Senate runoffs

  • 14. VIRick  |  December 17, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    DC Council Bans LGBTQ "Panic" Defense, Strengthens Hate Crimes Law

    On Tuesday, 15 December 2020, the DC Council voted unanimously to give final approval of a bill that bans the use of the so-called gay and transgender "panic" defense in criminal trials. The same measure also revises the city’s hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats.

    A coalition of local LGBTQ advocacy groups that lobbied for the legislation said it is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

    As for the hate crimes provision, the Maryland Legislature earlier this year approved a bill making a similar change to Maryland’s hate crimes statute. And a bill is pending in Congress calling for making a similar change to the federal hate crimes law.

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 17, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Andorra: Marriage Equality Bill Moves Forward

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 17 December 2020, the Government published its endorsement of its own proposed marriage equality law, following public consultations:

    Government Endorses Proposed Law of the Person and the Family

    El Govern Avala la Proposició de Llei de la Persona i de la Família

    El Govern ha emès un criteri favorable a la proposició de llei qualificada de la persona i de la família, entrada a tràmit pels tres grups de la majoria, en considerar que el text “respon plenament a la necessitat imperiosa i inajornable d’efectuar una recopilació ordenada de tota la normativa vigent en matèria de la persona i la família.”

    En aquests línia, l’executiu “celebra i comparteix” els canvis introduïts per flexibilitzar i agilitzar els procediments en cas de divorci, així com l’eliminació de la diferència terminològica que establia la Llei Qualificada de les Unions Civils i de modificació de la Llei Qualificada del Matrimoni, en funció de si la unió era entre persones del mateix sexe, unió civil, o entre persones de diferent sexe, matrimoni civil.

    The Government has issued a favorable opinion to the qualified proposed law of the person and of the family, entered for processing by the three groups of the majority, considering that the text “fully responds to the urgent and unavoidable need to carry out an orderly recompilation of all the current regulations of the person and the family.”

    Along these lines, the executive "celebrates and shares" the changes introduced to make the procedures for divorce more flexible and streamlined, as well as for the elimination of the terminological difference established by the Qualified Law on Civil Unions and the modification of the Qualified Law of Marriage, depending on whether the union was between persons of the same sex, civil union, or between persons of different sex, civil marriage.

    Next step: Parliament votes on the entire package, a package of civil code up-dates and changes presented by the united coalition of the majority. Once passed, the entire measure will become law after it is signed by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, an event very likely to occur in early 2021.

  • 16. Fortguy  |  December 17, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    Is the writer of the article being lazy here in referring to civil unions as being those between same-sex couples and civil marriages as those between straight couples? In a previous post earlier this year, you described Andorra's proposal as creating a distinction between civil marriages (casament) and those performed through religious ceremonies (matrimoni) regardless of the gender of the individuals involved in either while providing full civil rights to both.

    Any legislation defining gay nuptials as mere "civil unions" while granting straight couples "civil marriages" would be a regression from the original proposal and a slap to the faces of gay couples. I hope none of this has any practical distinction under the law as the discussion following your previous post seems to suggest it's all semantic word play to appease conservatives.

  • 17. VIRick  |  December 18, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Fortguy, the terminological difference, described above, as translated from the news article in "Bondia," is what Andorra currently has in place as law. That terminological difference is to be eliminated and replaced by what you are describing.

    The new distinction, between civil marriage and whatever occurs through religious ceremonies, was not mentioned in the current article. However, I think we can be reassured that we only need to concern ourselves with the government-recognized civil marriages (casament), and let the church do whatever it decides to do when it comes to religious ceremonies (matrimoni).

    I also find Catalan rather difficult to translate. One often hears it described as merely a regional Spanish dialect spoken with clipped word endings, as in French, and to a degree, that is correct. However, it also contains some of the elision, nasalization, orthographic shifting ("b" to "v"), and soft sounds of Portuguese, like "eix" on word endings. Plus, most importantly, it contains its own unique words. Some examples of this that I did not immediately recognize include: emès, aquests, canvis, aixi, and mateix. In particular, "mateix" (same) does not match with any of the other Latin-based languages (mismo, mesmo, même, stesso).

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  December 18, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Google Translate auto-detects Catalan and quickly says "issued, these, changes, thus, and same".

    However, Rick's paragraphs are way more readable. Example (from Google Translate):

    Along these lines, the executive "celebrates and shares" the changes introduced to make procedures more flexible and streamlined in the event of divorce, as well as the elimination of the terminological difference established by the Qualified Law on Civil Unions and amending the Law. Qualified of the Marriage, based on if the union was between people of the same sex, civil union, or between people of different sex, civil marriage.

    Perhaps it would be easiest to run the text through Google Translate first & then just clean up any weird-looking sentences.

  • 19. VIRick  |  December 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Ian, based on my understanding of Spanish, French, and Portuguese, I can somewhat follow Catalan. However, for assistance, I did run most of that news article through Google Translate, but the resulting "English" did not make much sense. As you noted, it was just a scramble of words.

    I could understand more just by re-reading the half of the original text that is matching with Spanish, as that half did not need translation. Still, all it took was one or two unique Catalan words per sentence to destroy my comprehension.

    Several translation clues that seriously help: Whenever translating from a Latin-based language, always opt for the "look-alike" Latin-based English equivalent, even if English-speakers do not routinely use that word choice. As an example, for "recopilació," I chose "recompilation" over whatever Google Translate suggested. But just translating words does not lead to comprehension, as almost inevitably, the assembled words then need to be re-arranged in a very different order, and verb tenses frequently need to be shifted, while paying close attention to subjunctive, reflexive, and passive forms. And given the subject matter, a good dose of legalese and some understanding of legislative procedure are required.

  • 20. VIRick  |  December 17, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Cuba Delays Debate on New Family Code in National Assembly

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Cuba delays the new Family Code that was to bring in marriage equality. The widely-touted measure had been set for consideration by the National Assembly in March 2021.

    Cuba Retrasa el Nuevo Código de Familia

    El Código de Familia queda para después pues continúa en “estudio." Temas tan apremiantes como el reconocimiento del matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo y todo lo que ello implica a nivel de derechos civiles quedará para después, en una fecha sin determinar. Pues, según las autoridades cubanas, el tema se está “estudiando."

    El ministro de Justicia de Cuba, Oscar Silvera Martínez, precisó que “se requiere un mayor tiempo para profundizar en conceptos e instituciones jurídicas que permitan dotarnos de un Código imprescindible en el contexto actual y perspectiva de la sociedad cubana."

    Cuba Delays the New Family Code

    The Family Code is left for later as it continues under “study.” Urgent issues such as the recognition of same-sex marriage and all that this implies at the level of civil rights will be left for later, at an undetermined date. Thus, according to the Cuban authorities, the issue is being "studied."

    The Cuban Minister of Justice, Oscar Silvera Martínez, specified that "more time is required in order to deepen concepts and legal institutions to permit us to provide an essential Code within the current context and perspective of Cuban society."

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  December 21, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Georgia's millionaire senators won't drain the swamp. They are the swamp

    Obscene wealth, financial speculation, cavalier indifference – yet Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue claim their Democratic challengers are out of touch

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  December 21, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Georgia voters break early voting record ahead of Senate runoffs

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