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12/21 open thread


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


  • 1. VIRick  |  December 21, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Advocacy Groups File Federal Lawsuit against "Death to Asylum" Rule

    On Monday, 21 December 2020, immigrant advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit saying the Trump administration’s “death to asylum” rule would make it nearly impossible for members of the LGBTQ community and people with HIV/AIDS to seek asylum in the USA. Immigration Equality, the TransLatina Coalition, the Transgender Law Center, Oasis Legal Services, and the Black LGBTQIA Migrant Project are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in the District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and outgoing US Attorney-General Bill Barr are among the named defendants. Lambda Legal represents the lawsuit’s plaintiffs.

    A press release that announced the lawsuit says the new Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department rule that takes effect on 11 January 2021 “eliminates eligibility for asylum to anyone with a gender-based claim.” The lawsuit itself notes this change “has the potential for altogether eliminating asylum relief for LGBTQ/H (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and people with HIV) applicants.”

    “The Final Rule additionally eliminates asylum relief for many individuals who are targets of individualized personal animus,” notes the lawsuit. “This measure will devastate the many LGBTQ/H asylum applicants who have faced persecution at the hands of people who act on societal and government-sanctioned animosities against LGBTQ/H people.”

  • 2. VIRick  |  December 21, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    CDMX: 11th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per "Homosensual:"

    Desde que se puso en marcha, 13,134 parejas LGBT se han casado en el entonces Distrito Federal (ahora CDMX).

    Since coming into effect, 13,134 LGBT couples have married in the former Federal District (now CDMX).

    Per David Razú Aznar:

    Hoy, 21 de diciembre, se cumplen 11 años de que nuestra querida CDMX se convirtiera en la primera jurisdicción latinoamericana en legislar el matrimonio igualitario.

    Today, 21 December, marks 11 years since our beloved CDMX became the first jurisdiction in Latin America in legislating to legalize marriage equality.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  December 22, 2020 at 12:06 am

    Russian Ideas about Family Increasingly Diverging from Those of State and Church

    The Russian Orthodox Church supports the state in backing traditional models of the family; but as a result, the religious organization finds itself increasingly out of step with both Russian ideals and Russian practices, Aleksandrov says.

    Most prominently, it opposes homosexuality, divorce, abortion, and any intervention by the government in the way parents raise their children. And it argues as does the state that marriage is primarily about giving birth and raising children rather than securing the happiness of those who enter into it, again putting itself at odds with most Russians. …

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  December 22, 2020 at 12:20 am

    GA Senate Races: Dems Very Slightly Ahead (For Now)

    The survey, conducted December 8 to 14, found that Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a statistically insignificant two-point advantage over Senator David Perdue. Ossoff earns 49% of the vote to Perdue’s 47%. In the other Senate race, it’s Democrat Raphael Warnock with a similarly insignificant 49% to 48% edge over appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler.

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 22, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    10th Anniversary of Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

    Today, 22 December 2020, marks an important anniversary for lesbian, gay, and bisexual military members, as 10 years ago, President Barack Obama signed legislation repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy that had forced them to remain in the closet or risk discharge. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, has issued a statement on the significance of the repeal and the need to extend the freedom to serve to transgender Americans as well, and to pass the Equality Act, assuring equal rights for LGBTQ people in all aspects of life.

    “Ten years ago, our nation took bold action to end a fundamental injustice that had inflicted shame and distress on tens of thousands of brave, patriotic LGBTQ service members,” Pelosi’s statement reads. “With the repeal of the hateful ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, we strengthened our national security and reaffirmed the bedrock principle that those willing and able to serve be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or whom they love."

  • 6. VIRick  |  December 22, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Nationwide Injunction Blocks EO Prohibiting Structural Racism/Sexism Diversity Training

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 22 December 2020, in "Santa Cruz Diversity Center v. Trump," a Federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking sections of Trump's executive order prohibiting federal contractors/grantees from conducting workplace diversity trainings explicitly acknowledging structural racism, sexism, and anti-LGBT bias.

    The Order is here:
    and here:

  • 7. VIRick  |  December 22, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    DC Federal Court: RNC/Trump Facing Real Consequences from Trump Voter Fraud Lies

    On Tuesday, 22 December 2020, a voting rights group filed a federal lawsuit that accuses Trump and the Republican National Committee of conspiring to violate the rights of Black voters. The lawsuit doesn’t just ask the judge to stop Trump and the GOP from taking any more steps to overturn or undermine the election results this year; the challengers are also asking for an order that could force the president and the RNC to get court approval before demanding recounts or participating in other “post-election activities” in the future.

    The new court action comes just a few years after a federal judge in New Jersey in January 2018 lifted a decades-old court-monitored settlement that barred the RNC from engaging in “ballot security” activities based on the “racial or ethnic composition” of a particular community. The RNC signed the agreement in 1982 to settle claims that it had tried to intimidate, threaten, and disenfranchise voters through voter roll purges and by paying police officers to patrol polling sites in predominantly Black and Latino areas under the guise of preventing election fraud.

    The new lawsuit, which is an expanded version of a case that the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) filed last month in federal court in Washington DC against Trump and his campaign alone, accused the president and Republican Party officials of deliberately focusing their post-election challenges on cities with large Black populations, such as Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. The latest iteration of the lawsuit brings claims under the federal Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act.

    "It is quite disturbing that just a couple of years after that order expired, there is this troubling evidence emerging about how the Trump campaign, which worked throughout this process very hand-in-hand with the RNC, was engaging in similar improper conduct that was based on this false premise that votes cast predominantly in communities of color were somehow invalid or fraudulent,” said Sam Spital, director of litigation for the NAACP LDF.

  • 8. VIRick  |  December 22, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    Colorado: Senior Dominion Employee Sues Trump Re-Election Campaign

    A senior employee of Dominion Voting Systems has sued Trump's re-election campaign in a Colorado state court for spreading false conspiracy theories related to November's presidential election that Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Eric Coomer, director of product strategy and security for the voting technology company, sued Trump's campaign and senior associates, including attorney Sidney Powell and the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, for defamation, according to a court document dated 22 December 2020, as reported by Colorado Public Radio.

    The filing with the state District Court in Denver said the defendants, who also include right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin, the website Gateway Pundit, Colorado conservative activist Joseph Oltmann, and the pro-Trump One America News Network and Newsmax Media, made baseless assertions that Coomer "sits at the center of a national conspiracy to fraudulently elect the President of the United States." The lawsuit claims that Trump's campaign and its agents "manufactured and spread a false narrative" that Dominion "conspired to rig its equipment and the election in favor of President-Elect Biden," which led to "devastating consequences," including death threats which forced Coomer to leave his home for fear of his safety. "Defendants, by their actions, have elevated Dr. Coomer into the national spotlight, invaded his privacy, threatened his security, and fundamentally defamed his reputation across this country," the document said.

  • 9. davepCA  |  December 23, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    I am just LOVING all of this good news here today. Just what I needed.

  • 10. VIRick  |  December 23, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Biden Appoints Two More Gay Men to Key Administration Roles

    The Biden-Harris transition team has announced two more out LGBTQ appointees who will serve in the coming Biden administration. Guatan Raghavan will be appointed Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel. Raghavan has previously worked as Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA) chief of staff and is currently the Deputy Head of Presidential Appointments for the Biden-Harris transition team.

    During the Obama administration Raghavan was the White House liaison to the LGBTQ community and the Asian American & Pacific Islander community and worked to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the military’s ban on out gay and bisexual people. He lives with his husband and their daughter in DC.

    Out attorney Stuart Delery will serve as Deputy Counsel to the President. He previously worked in the Obama administration as the Acting Associate Attorney-General of the United States, making him the highest ranking LGBTQ person in the history of the Department of Justice. He and his husband also live in DC with their two children.

  • 11. VIRick  |  December 23, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Ecuador: Data Pertaining to 1st Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Víctor Hugo Carreño:

    Esta es la nota que más gusto tuve de hacer este año: Según datos de la Dirección Nacional de Registro Civil, 122 parejas del mismo sexo se casaron en Ecuador tras un año de matrimonio igualitario; historias como la de Julio Alarcón y Tomás Bartolomeo, que dijeron "Sí, acepto," y celebraron con familia y amigos. Adems, desde la vigencia del matrimonio igualitario, 14 parejas del mismo sexo registraron su unión de hecho.

    This is the note that pleased me the most to make this year: According to data from the National Civil Registry Office, 122 same-sex couples were married in Ecuador after one year of marriage equality; stories like Julio Alarcón and Tomás Bartolomeo, who said "Yes, I accept," and who celebrated with family and friends. Since the legalization of marriage equality, 14 same-sex couples also registered their de facto unions.

    According to the charts accompanying this news article, the marriage statistics actually cover the first 11 months of legality, from July 2019 through May 2020, inclusive, as do those for the registration of de facto unions. However, the latter type of union seems to have been terminated after January 2020.

    And for those who know Spanish, the full story of Julio and Tomás is absolutely adorable, as the two did not even know each other when the Constitutional Court of Ecuador suddenly approved marriage equality nationwide in June of 2019. Still, by January 2020, they were married.

    As a subtle point, notice that Ecuador uses US dollars as its official currency, and that it costs US$50 to register one's marriage before the Civil Registry.

    The movement, "Sí, Acepto," begun in Costa Rica during the lead-up to their delayed implementation of marriage equality, has been seen as a means of engaging the wider population into accepting said concept in a positive manner. From there, the movement has quickly and quite actively spread to Panamá, Ecuador, and Perú.

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