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3/15 open thread


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


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  March 15, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    Vatican says it will not bless same-sex unions, calling them a 'sin'

    Explaining their decision in a lengthy note on Monday, the Holy See referred to same-sex unions as a "choice," described them as sinful and said they "cannot be recognized as objectively ordered" to God's plans. The stance is certain to disappoint millions of gay and lesbian Catholics around the world.

    "The blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit," the Vatican's top doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in the statement. God "does not and cannot bless sin," the statement added.

    Pope Francis, who has frequently been praised for his welcoming tone towards LGBTQ people both within and outside the Church, approved the note.

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 15, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Some Latin Reactions to the Papal Proclamation on Same-Sex Unions

    Per Alejandro Michells, Bogotá, Colombia:

    No necesitamos a la iglesia para casarnos.

    We do not need the church to marry us.

    Per Jesús Moreno, Chiapas, Mexico:

    Lo que es increíble es que aún haya gente a la que le importe lo que diga el Vaticano.

    What is incredible is that there are still people who care about what the Vatican says.

    Per Antonio GR, CDMX:

    Y la novedad es? Quién esperaba que una institución arcaica, corrupta y en decadencia cambiara de opinión?

    And the novelty is? Who expected that an archaic, corrupt, and decaying institution would change its opinion?

    Per mamapapa_soygay:

    El Vaticano NO dará bendición a las parejas del mismo sexo….

    La única bendición que busco es la de mi madre… esa, SÍ vale, y está cargada de amor y buenos deseos.

    The Vatican will NOT give its blessing to same-sex couples ….

    The only blessing I am looking for is that of my mother… that one, YES has value, and she is filled with love and good wishes.

  • 3. VIRick  |  March 16, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    From Latin America, More Reactions to the Papal Statement on Same-Sex Unions

    Per Nicolás López, Bogotá, Colombia:

    Hoy me ahorré los trinos sobre lo que dijo el Vaticano frente a población LGBT por una sencilla razón: nosotros no hemos necesitado que la iglesia nos "permita" ser quienes somos. Nuestra lucha es propia.

    Today I saved myself the bother about what the Vatican said concerning the LGBT population for a simple reason: we have not needed the church to "allow" us to be who we are. Our fight is our own.

    Per Agenda LGBT, AC:

    El Vaticano perpetúan homofobia y transfobia con su discurso de odio vs. matrimonio igualitario. Prefieren bendecir y encubrir pederastia clerical y auspiciar crimen de odio en lugar de ser humanistas en tiempos de Covid-19.

    The Vatican perpetuates homophobia and transphobia with their hate speech vs. marriage equality. They prefer to bless and cover up clerical pedophilia and sponsor hate crime instead of being humanists in times of Covid-19.

    Per Daniel Berezowsky:

    Querido Vaticano: mi matrimonio no es un pecado. Tus siglos de incitar al odio, sí.

    Dearest Vatican: my marriage is not a sin. Your centuries of inciting hatred, yes.

  • 4. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 18, 2021 at 6:25 am

    Comments by Catholic theologians, bishops, queer advocates, and reporters on the Vatican ban on blessing same-sex couples. I believe the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has backed Pope Francis into a corner from which he had no choice but to acquiesce.

    Cardinal Cupich (archbishop of Chicago), Elton John, and LGBTQ Catholics Comment on Vatican’s Blessings Ban

    Austrian Priests Respond to Vatican Ban on Queer Blessings with “Call to Disobedience”

    Nearly 1,000 Pastoral Ministers in Germany Commit to Blessing Same-Gender Couples

    Bishop Is “Ashamed” of Church, Apologizes for Vatican’s Ban on Same-Gender Blessings

    One of the themes that I have noticed in these criticisms is, The Vatican has spoken, but the conversation isn’t over, nor is it going away anytime soon.

  • 5. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 18, 2021 at 6:51 am

    Sign the Statement to Protest Vatican’s Decision Against Blessing Same-Gender Couples

    Any Roman Catholic who ministers in any capacity–whether as a paid employee, a volunteer, or a member of a Catholic institution/community–is invited to sign the statement. Signers will have the choice to be public or anonymous.

    Those who are supportive of this statement but are not paid employees, volunteers, or members of a Catholic institution/community are also welcome to sign the statement.

  • 6. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 18, 2021 at 7:01 am


    The following is the text of the statement:

    We Will Bless Same-Gender Couples

    We are pastoral ministers—lay, ordained, vowed—at Roman Catholic institutions and we minister with LGBTQ people. The statement this week from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which banned blessings of same-gender unions has already caused immense pastoral damage. While this damage is felt particularly by members of the LGBTQ community, the hurt reaches out to the wider arena of other Catholics whose faith has taught them to reach out, welcome, and affirm LGBTQ people.

    Our Catholic faith and tradition compels us to respect and honor the faith journeys of LGBTQ people. We know that those who enter into committed relationships do so out of love which is divinely inspired and supported.

    We call on Pope Francis and Vatican leaders to rescind this decision which has caused so much pain and will continue to do so if it is left to stand.

    We pledge to continue to find new ways to affirm and bless all LGBTQ people, whether they are single or in a committed relationship.

    We ask all Catholics and people of good will to pray that the Catholic Church will continue to accompany LGBTQ people in their faith journeys, to welcome them into their communities, to learn from their experience, and to grow as a church.

    To read the statement online, click here.

  • 7. VIRick  |  March 15, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Massachusetts: A Series of Pro-LGBT Bills Introduced

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 15 March 2021, Massachusetts state lawmaker Rep. Jack Lewis has filed bills to ban the gay "panic" defense, to allow for a gender-neutral state ID, and to protect transgender prisoners.

    Then, not to be outdone, Rep. Jack Lewis, together with Senator Julian Cyr, both filed legislation, HD 36 and SD 21, respectively, to repeal the state's archaic, offensive, defunct sodomy laws.

    Massachusetts, ridiculously enough, is one of 15 states still with leftover, unenforceable sodomy laws remaining on the books.

    The following 12 states still retain state statutes banning sodomy: FL, GA, ID, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, OK, SC. The following 3 states still have statutes that ban same-sex sodomy: KS, KY, TX.

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 15, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    West Virginia: Bill Introduced to Ban Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Wednesday, 10 March 2021, the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, a proposal to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of "conversion therapy," was introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates with bipartisan support. The bill, House Bill 3033, was referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

    The lead sponsor is Del. Erikka Storch, R-Ohio County. An identical version of the bill, Senate Bill 598, was introduced in the Senate earlier in the week.

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  March 16, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    1st Japanese SSM court ruling: Denial of marriage rights is 'unconstitutional'

    TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese district court on Wednesday ruled that same-sex couples not being able to marry is “unconstitutional,” Kyodo news agency reported, though it threw out the plaintiffs’ demands for damages from the Japanese government.

    The ruling, the first in Japan on the legality of same-sex marriages, is a symbolic victory and had been eagerly awaited in the only G7 nation that doesn’t fully recognise same-sex partnerships, with marriage defined in the constitution as based on “the mutual consent of both sexes.”

  • 10. VIRick  |  March 16, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Japan: Court Rules that Denial of Marriage to Same-Sex Couples Is Unconstitutional

    Per Freedom to Marry:

    On 17 March 2021, a judge in Sapporo just ruled that the denial of marriage to same-sex couples is a violation of Japan's Constitution, the first-ever court ruling affirming the freedom to marry in Japan.

    Congratulations to the "Marriage For All Japan" team, the plaintiff couples, and their supporters across Japan who have spoken out for the freedom to marry! This is a landmark victory that will help pave the way for an eventual national victory – and to encourage the National Diet to act!

    See also "Marriage For All Japan" here (in Japanese):

    Per Lima Gay Net:

    Un juez en Sapporo acaba de dictaminar que la negación del matrimonio a parejas del mismo sexo es una violación de la Constitución de Japón, ¡el primer fallo judicial que afirma la libertad de casarse en Japón!

    A judge in Sapporo has just ruled that the denial of marriage to same-sex couples is a violation of the Constitution of Japan, the first court decision that affirms the freedom to marry in Japan!

    Per Gay News Italy:

    Giappone: Dichiarato incostituzionale il divieto di matrimonio tra persone dello stesso sesso.

    Japan: The ban on marriage between persons of the same sex declared unconstitutional.

  • 11. VIRick  |  March 16, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Japan: Court Rules in Favor of Right to Same-Sex Marriage for First Time

    A Japanese court has ruled that the lack of legal recognition for same-sex marriage violates the constitution, in the country’s first such judgment on marriage equality. The Sapporo District Court on the northern island of Hokkaido handed down the decision on Wednesday, 17 March 2021, Kyodo News said, in the first of a series of similar damage suits filed by same-sex couples in five separate courts around the country.

    The three couples party to Wednesday’s case successfully argued that their rights had been breached because equality and freedom of marriage are enshrined in the constitution, public broadcaster NHK said. However, the Sapporo court rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for damages from the government, but said in its ruling that same-sex couples’ lack of access to some of the rights afforded to heterosexual couples amounted to discrimination.

  • 12. VIRick  |  March 17, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Japan: Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    Japón: Corte Emite Histórico Fallo sobre Prohibición de Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo

    La sentencia de un tribunal de distrito del 17 de marzo 2021, la primera en Japón sobre la legalidad de los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo, es una importante victoria simbólica en un país en el que la Constitución sigue definiendo el matrimonio como algo basado en "el consentimiento mutuo de ambos sexos."

    Aunque será necesaria una nueva ley antes de que los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo puedan celebrarse, el abogado de los demandantes calificó la sentencia de "revolucionaria," mientras que los activistas LGBT la consideraron algo que cambiará sus vidas.

    The district court ruling of 17 March 2021, the first in Japan on the legality of same-sex marriages, is an important symbolic victory in a country where the Constitution continues to define marriage as based on "the mutual consent of both genders."

    Although a new law will be necessary before marriages between same-sex couples can be celebrated, the attorney for the plaintiffs called the ruling "revolutionary," while LGBT activists considered it as something that will change their lives.

    It should be noted that the gay press in countries like Perú, Chile, and Italy, countries also waiting for marriage equality, were quite quick to report about the court ruling in Japan. Shortly thereafter, said news was then also quickly reported in the general press in the same locales. "El Mostrador" is one of the leading newspapers in Chile. The court ruling in Japan also made headlines in Bolivia, Costa Rica (where they drew a brilliant parallel with their own CIDH court ruling), and the Dominican Republic.

  • 13. VIRick  |  March 17, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    Guanajuato: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Only 129 Same-Sex Couples Have Been Able to Marry in Guanajuato

    Per Lol Kin Castañeda Badillo:

    Sólo 129 Parejas del Mismo Sexo Han Podido Casarse en Guanajuato

    En el Estado de Guanajuato, desde el 2014 hasta la fecha, sólo 129 parejas de la diversidad sexual han logrado contraer nupcias y unirse ante la ley, esto de acuerdo a datos del registro civil estatal.

    Las mujeres han mostrado mayor participación, pues representan un 69 por ciento del total histórico con 89 matrimonios celebrados; mientras que el 31 por ciento restante equivale a 40 matrimonios entre hombres.

    Acceder a la unión matrimonial representa muchos más retos para las personas de la diversidad sexual, debido a que en Guanajuato el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo no ha sido aprobado. Deben por ello solicitar un amparo ante los artículos que lo limitan, y realizar el trámite ante un juez federal.

    In the state of Guanajuato, from 2014 to date, only 129 couples of sexual diversity have managed to marry and unite before the law, this according to data from the state civil registry. Women have shown greater participation, representing 69 percent of the over-all total with 89 marriages celebrated; while the remaining 31 percent is equivalent to 40 marriages between men.

    Accessing a marriage union represents many more challenges for persons of sexual diversity because in Guanajuato same-sex marriage has not been approved. Therefore, they must request an amparo against the articles that limit it, and carry out said procedure before a federal judge.

    Actually, 129 marriages via amparo between same-sex couples is the highest number yet recorded for a single state, a number that even exceeds that of Yucatán, which at last report had just exceeded 100.

  • 14. VIRick  |  March 17, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Durango: First Name/Gender Change on a Birth Certificate in the State

    Today, 17 March 2021, Alejandra Roldán successfully obtained an amparo judgment in her favor in Durango state, enabling her to change her name/gender on her birth certificate (acta de nacemiento).

    Just like with marriage equality, ever since the Supreme Court issued its jurisprudence on gender identity, federal judges no longer have any discretion on whether to grant a petitioner's amparo request for name/gender change. They must comply.

    Morelos was the first state in Mexico without a gender identity law that was forced to comply with a name/gender change via a successful amparo judgment, after said issuance of Supreme Court jurisprudence. Now, the same has occurred in Durango.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  March 17, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Japan's Sapporo District Court: Not allowing SSM violates Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution prohibiting discrimination

    The Sapporo District Court said sexuality, like race and gender, is not a matter of individual preference, therefore prohibiting same-sex couples from receiving benefits given to heterosexual couples cannot be justified.

    Judge Tomoko Takebe said in the ruling that not allowing same-sex marriages violates Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution prohibiting discrimination 'because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.'

    While Japan has some protections for sexual minorities, many same-sex couples struggle to rent apartments together and are even banned from hospital visits.

    A November poll by the Yomiuri newspaper found 61 percent of people in Japan are broadly in favour of same-sex marriage, with 37 percent against.

    Four other lawsuits are pending in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.

    Japan's refusal to issue spouse visas to partners of same-sex couples legally married overseas has been a growing problem, forcing them to temporarily live separately.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  March 17, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Polyamorous gay throuple who made history by becoming first family to list THREE dads on a birth certificate say their unique journey into parenthood is 'like winning the lottery'

    Doctor Ian Jenkins, 45, and his partners Alan Mayfield and Jeremy Allen Hodges, from San Diego, made legal history in 2017 when a judge agreed to put them all on the birth certificate of daughter Piper, now three, paving the way for other polyamorous families to gain greater legal recognition in the US.

    'I've got all these wonderful families accepting and loving us, and rejoicing in our children,' Ian said, speaking to People Magazine. 'We have two beautiful kids. I have two more partners than I thought I might. For me, it's kind of like winning the lottery.'

    Jeremy is known to the children as 'daddy', while Alan is 'dada' and Ian is 'papa'.

    The throuple are now detailing the ins and outs of their legal battles, and their parenting journey, in a new book, 'Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting', which also documents the hurdles they had to jump over to grow their family.

  • 17. VIRick  |  March 17, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    The ERA Constitutional Amendment Sees New Life

    Per Kyle Griffin:

    Today, 17 March 2021, the US House of Representatives voted 222-204 to eliminate a deadline passed in 1982 that has prevented the Equal Rights Amendment from becoming part of the US Constitution.

  • 18. VIRick  |  March 19, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Japan: Supreme Court Recognizes LGBT "De Facto" Partnerships

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On the same date as the lower court ruling in Sapporo that the ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of Japan ruled that LGBT couples can be recognized in law as having "common law" or "de facto" relationships:

    Japan’s Supreme Court has upheld a high court ruling that same-sex couples in "de facto" marriages should be entitled to the same legally-protected benefits as those enjoyed by heterosexual couples in quasi-marriages. In a judgment dated Wednesday, 17 March 2021, the top court’s Second Petty Bench finalized the ruling by lower courts that ordered the former partner of the plaintiff to pay 1.1 million yen in damages after the couple broke up due to the former partner’s infidelity. It rejected an appeal by the former partner.

    The Tokyo High Court ruled in March 2020 that both members of the same-sex couple should be given the same legal protection as in hetero quasi-marriage relationships when it came to the Civil Code. It is believed to be the first Supreme Court ruling to order damages on the basis of the recognition of same-sex couples as being in quasi-marriage relationships.

    Per Melon:

    The Supreme Court's decision upholding that ruling could have big consequences for other cases surrounding whether same-sex couples can be in common-law marriages, like this one, which is being appealed:

    In a ruling on 4 June 2020, the Nagoya District Court did not recognize a gay couple as being in a common-law marriage, resulting in a man not receiving financial compensation from the state after his partner was murdered.

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 20, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Arkansas: Legislature Passes "Religious Refusals" Health Care Bill

    The Arkansas legislature has passed a bill allowing health care providers or insurers to deny care that conflicts with their religious beliefs, and civil rights groups say it opens the door to widespread discrimination against LGBTQ people and others. Senate Bill 289, given final approval on Thursday, 18 March 2021, by the Senate, and earlier in the week by the House, is now with Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has not said if he plans to sign or veto it, the Associated Press reports.

    If he takes no action within five days from receiving the bill, it becomes law without his signature. If he vetoes it, a simple majority of legislators can override the veto. The measure would allow medical workers, institutions, and payers to opt out of providing care to which they object on the grounds of religion or conscience, except in emergency situations.

    Arkansas Surgeon-General Greg Bledsoe, a Republican who is running for lieutenant governor, opposed a similar bill in 2017 but endorsed this one, the AP reports.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  March 20, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    ACLU of PA: Support Your Sisters (Not Just Your Cis-ters)!

  • 21. VIRick  |  March 21, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Edomex: Gay Wedding Celebrated in Toluca After Winning Amparo from Supreme Court

    Edomex: Celebran Boda Gay en Toluca Tras Ganar Amparo de la Suprema Corte

    El 21 de marzo 2021, Daniel Contreras Fuentes y Jesús Duarte García contrajeron matrimonio en la Oficialía del Registro Civil en la Alameda de Toluca luego de que ganaron un amparo que establece que su unión es legal, tras dos años de lucha en defensa de sus derechos.

    En conferencia de prensa previo a su ceremonia civil, la pareja expresó su hartazgo ante la negatoria de sus derechos, pues aun cuando ordenamientos como la tesis jurisprudencial 43/2015 de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) que indica que no hay argumentos (válidos) que prohíban los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo, no en todos los estados son legales.

    Con este acto, puntualizaron que alrededor de 10 parejas del mismo sexo en el Estado de México han contraído matrimonio por la vía civil.

    On 21 March 2021, Daniel Contreras Fuentes y Jesús Duarte García were married in the Office of the Civil Registry on the Alameda of Toluca after they won an amparo that establishes that their union is legal, after two years of fighting in defense of their rights.

    At a press conference prior to their civil ceremony, the couple expressed their disgust at the denial of their rights, because even when orders such as jurisprudential thesis 43/2015 of the SCJN indicate that there are no (valid) arguments prohibiting same-sex marriages, they are not legal in all states.

    With this act, they pointed out that around 10 same-sex couples in the State of Mexico have contracted civil marriage.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  March 22, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention on women’s rights after attempts by gay rights activists to normalise homosexuality

    The government blamed LGBT activists for organising protests in universities across the country in January. It labelled them as “LGBT deviants”.

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