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Pete Buttigieg becomes first out confirmed Cabinet appointee

Community/Meta Discrimination

The Washington Blade reports

Pete Buttigieg was approved by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday as transportation secretary with bipartisan support, marking the first time an openly gay person has been confirmed to a Cabinet-level position and a long overdue achievement for the LGBTQ community.

The vote to confirm Buttigieg, the former South Bend mayor who was nominated by President Biden after making history in the 2020 Democratic primary as an openly gay candidate, was 86-13.

The Democratic caucus was united in support for Buttigieg. Among the Republicans joining them were Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The report notes that his confirmation hearing was “relatively breezy.”


  • 1. Fortguy  |  February 3, 2021 at 2:57 am

    The Texas Legislature is meeting in its biennial, 140-day regular session. Predictably, several GOP lawmakers are jumping at the chance to beat down transgender children and students with law books in order to prove what cissies they are. State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) and state Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) have each filed bills that would block transgender girls from participating on girl-specific athletic teams. Swanson's bill goes even further extending the ban to trans women in higher education which would place the state's colleges and universities in direct conflict with the nondiscrimination policies of the NCAA and many athletic conferences.

    Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) has filed a bill that would provide criminal penalties to doctors or other health care professionals who treat transgender children with puberty blockers, hormone therapies, or any other transitional care.

    Kate McGee and Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans want to keep transgender women out of women’s school sports teams

    Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) is the new House speaker while Lite Guv Potty Patrick continues to run the Senate. Phelan was elected with the full support of House Democrats. Let's hope these bills don't see the light of day under his tenure just as his two predecessors routinely would have killed them.

    Unfortunately, because demographic data for redistricting probably won't be released before the end of April, the Lege will undoubtedly be back in special session this summer giving them more chance for mayhem.

  • 2. VIRick  |  February 3, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    US Supreme Court: Sotomayor Authors Powerful Disability Rights Decision

    On Wednesday, 3 February 2021, the US Supreme Court issued an opinion in a low-profile railroad benefits rights case likely to act as a harbinger for numerous future decisions due to the relatively unusual and decidedly novel partisan makeup of the justices.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for a 5-4 majority in "Salinas v. US Railroad Retirement Board," decided the case in favor of former Union Pacific Railroad carpenter and assistant foreman Manfredo Salinas, a serially-disabled veteran of the nation’s railways who has suffered several serious on-the-job injuries since the ’80s. Despite his tenure and continued service, even after each spine-altering injury, Salinas was consistently denied benefits by the much-better-paid bureaucrats sitting atop the US Railroad Retirement Board over the course of the past 30 years.

    Joining the court’s furthest-left justice in the decision was, in order of ideology, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, centrist Justice Elena Kagan, center-right Chief Justice John Roberts, and conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    The relatively complex technical reasoning in a case that the court was required to hear because of an outstanding circuit split, is well-explained here:

    But as a short-cut, slicing past the well-reasoned verbiage, Equality Case Files provides this exceedingly brief conclusion, one that can be deemed to be a reliable portent of positive news, regardless of any other factor, given that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, covering Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, is about as retrograde as they come:

    "The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision is reversed and remanded."

  • 3. VIRick  |  February 4, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Tlaxcala: Marriage Equality Is Now Official and Legally Valid

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Rex Wockner:

    Oficial, Ya Es Válido el Matrimonio Igualitario en Tlaxcala

    Las reformas al Código Civil avaladas el 8 de diciembre fueron publicadas en el Periódico Oficial de Tlaxcala el 4 de febrero 2021. El 24 de diciembre entraron en vigor las reformas, como Decreto 291, que permiten el matrimonio igualitario en el estado de Tlaxcala, 15 días después.

    The reforms to the Civil Code approved on 8 December 2020 were published in the Official Newspaper of Tlaxcala on 4 February 2021. The reforms that allow for marriage equality in the state of Tlaxcala, as Decree 291, entered into force on 24 December, 15 days later.

    Note: Now that Decree 291 has finally been published, same-sex couples can go to the Civil Registry to be married. The original legislation, as passed by the Tlaxcala Congress, contained a proviso indicating that said legislation would enter into force 15 days later. However, the Civil Registry was not obligated to act upon it until after its official publication.

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 4, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Australia: "Conversion Therapy" Banned in Victoria

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Gay "conversion" practices have been banned in Victoria following a marathon debate in parliament overnight, during which two Liberal MPs broke with party ranks to vote against the bill. The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill passed the Legislative Council with 29 votes in favor to 9 opposed, following a 12-hour sitting on Thursday, 4 February 2021.

    The bill will outlaw practices that seek to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone found to have engaged in practices that result in serious injury will face penalties of up to 10 years' jail or up to $10,000 in fines. The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will be empowered to investigate reports of conversion practices, while the Family Violence Protection Act will be amended to make them a form of domestic violence.

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 4, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Bulgaria: EU Court of Justice to Hear LGBT Citizenship Case

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 9 February 2021, the EU Court of Justice will hear the case of a child who has been denied (Bulgarian) citizenship because her parents are a lesbian couple.

    Bulgarian-born Kalina Ivanova and Gibraltar-born Jane Jones (both names being aliases) are the mothers of Sara, who was born in Spain in 2019. Under current Spanish law, the child could not acquire Spanish citizenship (despite Spanish authorities having issued a Spanish birth certificate for the child?) because neither Kalina nor Jane is a Spanish citizen. The child was also denied British citizenship because Jane was born in Gibraltar of British descent, and under the British Nationality Act (1981), cannot transfer citizenship to her daughter.

    Therefore, Kalina requested Bulgarian citizenship for their daughter. Bulgarian authorities rejected the application, arguing that a baby cannot have two mothers, and refused to issue a birth certificate in which the parents are two persons of the same sex.

    Sara has been deprived of Bulgarian, and therefore European citizenship, and is at risk of statelessness. At the moment, the child has no personal documents and cannot leave Spain, the country of the family’s habitual residence. The lack of documents will restrict Sara’s access to education, healthcare, and social security.

    According to the case taken to the CJEU, the Bulgarian authorities are violating the rights of a European citizen on the grounds of sexual orientation, namely the right to free movement, and to private and family life. This constitutes a breach of the fundamental principles of the EU.

    In Bulgaria, same-sex marriages and same-sex registered partnerships are not recognized. Authorities in Bulgaria have also not recognized the valid EU birth certificate of the child of a same-sex couple. On 9 February, the Court of Justice of the European Union must clarify that if one is a parent in one EU country, one is a parent in every EU country.

    Although this case is focused on Bulgaria, both the discriminatory Spanish law denying citizenship to someone born in Spain (jus soli), as well as the discriminatory paternally-oriented British law (jus sanguinis) which denies citizenship through the maternal lineage, need up-dating and modernization. Although not involved in the current case, the discriminatory paternally-oriented French law (jus sanguinis) also requires the same up-dating. All 3 are an inheritance of a male-dominated society, while in addition, the latter two are also an inheritance of a twisted, colonial mentality, especially the British law, which has chopped up "Britishness" into a 100-plus different forms of "Britishness," none of which are equal to each other, nor are any transferable between each other.

    In marked contrast, there is only one Portuguese citizenship worldwide, transferable with that of Brasil, depending upon one's chosen place of residency. This is why so many Portuguese citizens from Goa, Damão, Macau, Timor Leste, Angola, Cabo Verde, Moçambique, Açores, Guinea Bissau, and mainland Portugal are resident in Brasil. The other ex-colonial European nations did precisely the opposite, in a desperate attempt to block themselves from being inundated with all the ex-colonials coming "home" to roost, even from a place as small and as benign as Gibraltar or Bermuda.

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 5, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    Virginia House of Delegates Votes to Repeal Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

    On Thursday, 4 February 2021, the Virginia House of Delegates voted to repeal the state’s constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage and to replace it with one that affirms marriage equality.

    Delegates voted 60-33 to repeal the Marshall-Newman amendment that voters approved in 2006. A federal judge in 2014 ruled that both the constitutional amendment and the previous 1975 statute banning marriage for same-sex couples were unconstitutional, yet both have continued to remain on the books.

    State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) first sponsored legislation in 2015 to update the Virginia statutes banning marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples. Initial efforts failed to pass, but the statutory repeal finally was approved by the General Assembly and was signed into law during the last session by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

    Now, Thursday’s vote has taken aim at the state constitutional ban. Two successive legislatures must approve the repeal bill before the issue then goes before voters. “We have to pass it again in 2022,” state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) tweeted following the 4 February House vote. “And then it goes to the voters.”

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 6, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Virginia House of Delegates Passes Bill Banning LGBT "Panic" Defense

    On Friday, 5 February 2021, the Virginia House of Delegates passed the bill that would ban the so-called LGBT "panic" defense in criminal cases. House Bill 2132, which state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) introduced, passed by a 58-42 vote margin. The Manassas Democrat noted that three Republicans voted for the measure.

    Roem’s bill will now go before the Virginia Senate.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  February 7, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Danica Roem is seriously the best.

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  February 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

    FL Commission on Human Rights will enforce the 2020 SCOTUS ruling in the Bostock v. Clayton County case, thereby protecting all LGBTQ Floridians from discrimination

    Today, Florida’s Commission on Human Relations announced its intention to fully implement the Bostock v. Clayton County decision on the state level. This action means that Florida’s more than 772,000 LGBTQ residents will now be protected under state law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 7, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Arlando Teller, Gay and Indigenous Aviation Expert to Dept. of Transportation

    Pete Buttigieg, the out Secretary of Transportation, has added an out former lawmaker as one of his assistant secretaries, making this the latest LGBTQ hire within the Biden-Harris administration.

    Arizona state representative Arlando Teller (D), a member of the Navajo Nation and the former deputy director of the Navajo Department of Transportation, will become the deputy assistant secretary of Tribal Affairs in the US Department of Transportation. Teller announced his legislative resignation as a state representative on 31 January.

    Prior to his first election to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2018, Teller started his career in aviation working at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa AZ and at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. He also worked for the city of Phoenix and the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans. He started working at the Navajo Nation Department of Transportation in 2009. Teller is a 1995 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

  • 11. VIRick  |  February 7, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Mexico: Gender Identity Summary Up-Date for 2020

    For the year 2020, the following Mexican states, comprising jurisdictions #12-14, up-dated their laws to allow transgender individuals to administratively change their gender marker and name on their government-issued documents based upon their own self-perception (auto-percibido):

    Sonora, 1 October (law passed)

    Jalisco, 29 October (law passed)

    Jalisco, 17 November (in effect in Guadalajara)

    Quintana Roo, 18 November (law passed)

    This page at Wikipedia needs up-dating to reflect these several changes:

    Can someone please take the time to do this so that the list stays accurate?

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