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4/21 open thread


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


  • 1. VIRick  |  April 21, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Florida: Anti-Transgender Sports Bill Dies in Senate Following NCAA Pressure

    A bill barring transgender girls and women from playing in school sports for females has apparently died in the Florida Senate.The legislation, Senate Bill 2012, once appeared on a path to passage in both chambers of the Republican-controlled Florida legislature. But it began to stall after the National Collegiate Athletic Association made clear it could pull events from states with laws barring athletes from competing under their gender identity. In Florida, that meant that passing the bill would risk the cancellation of 50 events with a collective $75 million economic impact.

    Two Senate committees passed the bill. But the day the NCAA spoke out against a rash of bills already passed or under consideration in 26 states, a committee hearing on the legislation was delayed. Then, with less than two weeks left in the state’s legislative session, the bill was postponed again.

    State Sen. Kelli Stargel, the bill’s sponsor, said Tuesday morning, 20 April 2021, that there likely was not enough time remaining this year to work out all the controversies for the legislation to pass. “Right now, my primary focus as Appropriations Chair is our constitutional responsibility to pass a balanced budget, and in a time-limited environment, I don’t know that we will have sufficient time to revisit SB 2012 this session,” Stargel said in a statement released to Florida media.

    The NCAA sent a second statement out when the Florida House passed its own version of the bill. “When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination should be selected,” the statement said.….

  • 2. VIRick  |  April 21, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Arizona: Governor Vetoes Anti-LGBT Sex Education Bill

    On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a bill that would have banned all discussion of issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in sex education or other public school classes unless parents receive advance notification and opt their children in to the lessons, the Associated Press reports. He called the legislation "overly broad and vague" and said it would lead to unintended consequences, according to the AP.….

  • 3. VIRick  |  April 21, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    North Dakota: Governor Vetoes Anti-Transgender Sports Bill

    On Wednesday, 21 April 2021, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) vetoed a transgender sports ban, saying that the state already has sufficient rules for sports leagues regarding transgender people. "North Dakota has fairness in girls' and boys' sports in large part because of the caring and thoughtful leadership of the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA) Board and its members," Burgum said. "We have every confidence they will continue to ensure a level playing field for the more than 27,000 students who participate in North Dakota high school sports."

    The bill could be overridden by the state House and Senate, with the House obtaining enough votes the first time around to override the governor's decision. However, in the Senate, the measure did not receive enough votes for an override.

  • 4. VIRick  |  April 22, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Spain: 16th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Igualdad, LGTBi y Política Social, Región de Murcia:

    Ayer se celebró una efeméride especial en nuestro país: se cumplían 16 años desde que el 22 de abril de 2005 se aprobó en el Congreso de los Diputados, por amplia mayoría, la ley que legalizó el matrimonio igualitario.

    Yesterday, a special event was celebrated in our country: it has been 16 years since 22 April 2005 when the law that legalized marriage equality was approved by a large majority in the Congress of Deputies.

    Per Carles Silla, Sóc Tinent d'Alcalde de l'Ajuntament de Picassent (en Catalan):

    Fa 16 anys que el Congreso Espanyol va aprovar el Projecte de Llei del Matrimoni Igualitari. Però sabeu qui va votar en contra? El partit de la "libertad," el PP, i així sempre, en contra de tots els avanços socials de l’Estat Espanyol.

    Per Carles Silla, Deputy Mayor of the Picassent City Council:

    It has been 16 years since the Spanish Congress approved the Marriage Equality Bill. But do you know who voted against it? The party of "freedom," the PP, and as always, against all the social advances of the Spanish State.

  • 5. VIRick  |  April 22, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    China: Although Together for 50 Years, Love and Marriage Are Two Very Different Things

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A judge ruled that, while it was obvious the two women were a couple, marriage laws did not apply to their case, this despite one of the women suffering from a mental disorder that required her sister to become her (court-appointed) legal guardian.

    After more than 50 years of living with her partner, a Chinese lesbian woman in her late 70s faced a lawsuit from her partner’s family to return money, jewelry, and even appliances that they shared. The ruling came despite the judge’s acknowledgment that the couple, with surnames Yuan and Li, would be considered a couple by society’s standards, just not by the law’s standard.

    The case, which took place in Shenyang in China’s northeastern Liaoning province between the families of the former lesbian couple, has underlined legal gaps that can make it impossible for the LGBT community to find lawful recourse to disputes because same-sex marriage is illegal in China. The court ruled that while there was no disputing the couple were long-term lovers, their relationship was not legally binding, and thus, marriage laws did not protect their property.

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  April 22, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Tucker Carlson's college yearbook reveals he belonged to the "Dan White Society" and the “Jesse Helms Foundation.”

    Dan White was the man who, in 1978, killed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and city Supervisor Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official.

    Jesse Helms was a former North Carolina senator who vehemently opposed homosexuality and the integration of schools.

  • 7. VIRick  |  April 22, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Thailand: "What is Wrong with Indonesia?"

    What is wrong with Indonesia? Indonesian internet trolls flood a Thai couple’s gay wedding photos in a cross-cultural flame war, complete with diplomatic repercussions.

    Within days of Suriya Koedsang uploading pictures of his 3 April 2021 same-sex Thai wedding to his husband, Bas, on Facebook, the couple was being targeted by hateful Indonesian online mobs. Their hateful comments quickly snowballed into death threats against the couple and their families, even against the wedding photographer and other Thai responders defending the Thai same-sex couple and their actions.

    “So weird. They got married in Thailand but Indonesians have a problem with that. Why? Did they get married in your country? Why do you interfere?” wrote one Thai user named Nattaworada Imsamran, in an example of the messages of support the couple received.

    In any event, the entire, continuing episode has caused a serious diplomatic row between the two countries. One of the "offending" wedding photos taken during the couple's Buddhist ceremony is here:

    Note: The government of Thailand has not yet legalized civil marriage for same-sex couples, as legislation to do so remains pending. However, in Buddhist-majority countries, like Thailand, same-sex couples have been marrying each other in Buddhist religious ceremonies for quite some time.

    Ironically, the Thai reaction to the ugliness emanating from Indonesia over this matter may be just the impetus needed to spur the passage of the pending Thai marriage equality legislation. One should also note that this news article, perhaps not by accident, first appeared in the "South China Morning Post," the leading newspaper of Hong Kong.

  • 8. VIRick  |  April 22, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    South Africa: Government Proposes to Provide Non-Binary Option on National IDs

    Apartheid chiseled race and gendered "othering" into the everyday lives of South Africans. National identity numbers, given to every citizen and permanent resident, contained details of the person’s race, perceived gender, and geography using numbered codes. These codes formed a manual for how the state treated people, determining where they could live, whom they could love, and what their life prospects might be.

    Now, in a first for an African country, South Africa is revising its national identity system to be more inclusive and recognize different gender identities.

    South Africa’s identity numbers helped grease the bureaucracy of apartheid by making racial and gender sorting easier. After the country’s democratic government came to power in 1994, it worked to sweep away the historic categorizations encoded in the 13-digit national ID number typically assigned at birth. But one of the numbers remained the same: the 7th digit, which referred to a person’s gender using two sex choices, male or female.

    How to deal with that digit has been the topic of discussion and lobbying by the country’s LGBTQ community for some years, particularly given how important the national ID is to every South African’s life, effectively serving as an entry slip to services and jobs.

  • 9. VIRick  |  April 22, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Czech Republic: Parliamentary Debate, Possible Vote on Marriage Equality, 29 April 2021

    Per Adela Horakova and LGBT Marriage News:

    There are high chances of a vote on marriage equality in the Czech Republic next week Thursday, 29 April. An extraordinary session of the House of Representatives was convened, the motion was signed by 50 MPs, and initiated by B. Koranova. Both the marriage equality bill and the constitutional ban (of same) will be discussed.

  • 10. VIRick  |  April 22, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    US House Passes Bill to Make DC the 51st State

    On Thursday, 22 April 2021, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill to make Washington DC the 51st state. The vote was 216 to 208, split along party lines, with Democrats supporting passage, the second time that the US House has voted in favor of DC statehood.

    But the legislation will face a huge obstacle in the Senate, where it must overcome a Republican filibuster, and where the measure has never yet been voted upon.

  • 11. VIRick  |  April 23, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    North Dakota: Court Ruling Allowing Refusal of Gender Transition Healthcare Appealed

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The Biden Administration has appealed the North Dakota District Court ruling that allows Catholic-affiliated organizations to refuse to provide gender transition-related health care. The case is "Religious Sisters of Mercy v. Becerra (previously cited as "Religious Sisters of Mercy v. Azar"), 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 21-1890.

    The Memorandum and Order in the District Court ruling, issued 19 January 2021, is here:

    The briefing schedule at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is here:

  • 12. VIRick  |  April 23, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Georgia: Up-Date on Transgender Woman's Suit Alleging Rape/Abuse in Men's Prison

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 22 April 2021, the Biden Administration filed a Statement of Interest in the federal court case, "Diamond v. Ward," one that involves a transgender woman suing the Georgia Department of Corrections over rape/abuse she has faced in men's prisons. The administration seeks "to address the Eighth Amendment standards for evaluating the Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction."

    The Statement of Interest is here:

    The 8th Amendment, of course, bars "cruel and unusual punishment."

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  April 23, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    Biden: US embassies can fly LGBTQ Pride flag on same flagpole as American flag

    The move comes before May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and before June, which many nations recognize as LGBTQ Pride month.

    In February, Biden issued a presidential memorandum aimed at expanding protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people worldwide.

    The memo directed U.S. agencies working abroad to work harder to combat the criminalization of LGBTQ people by foreign governments and ordered the State Department to include anti-LGBTQ violence, discrimination and laws in its annual human rights report.

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 23, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    New York: Non-Binary Person Seeking Gender "X" Marker on Their Driver's License

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 23 April 2021, in "Saba v. Cuomo," the federal judge allowed the case of a non-binary person seeking a gender "X" marker on their New York State driver’s license to move forward, dismissing the plaintiff's claim for monetary damages, but denying the state's Motion to Dismiss on all other claims.

    The Opinion and Order is here:

    Judge Liman: The fact that New York State is working on a future update of their automated system and is willing to offer a one-of manual override to produce said license for the Plaintiff is not enough to moot the case.

    When the final decision in this case is rendered, it has the potential of setting the constitutional standard by which all states must abide in terms of the gender "X" marker.

    Statement from Lambda Legal:

    Lambda Legal represents Sander Saba, a non-binary transgender New York State resident who is seeking an accurate New York driver’s license that reflects their non-binary gender identity. The lawsuit challenges New York State’s discriminatory policy that categorically prohibits non-binary people from obtaining an accurate driver’s license that reflects their gender identity, instead forcing them to choose either “male” or “female.” Saba, a 25-year-old New York University Law School graduate, is seeking an accurate driver’s license with an “X” marker.

  • 15. VIRick  |  April 23, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Alabama: Governor Signs Anti-Transgender Sports Bill into Law

    Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill into law barring transgender students from competing in public school sports under their gender identity.

    On Friday, 23 April 2021, Ivey, a Republican, signed House Bill 391 according to the Human Rights Campaign. Similar bills have been signed into law this year in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and the governor of West Virginia is expected to sign one as well.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  April 24, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    Birmingham mayor denounces law banning transgender athletes from public school sports teams

  • 17. VIRick  |  April 24, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Mexico: Congress Dumps "Rule of 5" in Setting Supreme Court Jurisprudence

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Friday, 23 April 2021, the Mexican Congress approved the following judicial reform, doing away with the notorious "Rule of 5," the most transcendental change since the previous court reforms of 1994. Both Arturo Zaldívar, the President of the Supreme Court, and AMLO, the President of Mexico, pushed for this long overdue change:

    Hasta ahora, la Suprema Corte necesita fallar cinco veces en el mismo sentido para sentar jurisprudencia, un precedente que ha servido para garantizar derechos como el matrimonio igualitario y el consumo personal de marihuana.

    Pero la nueva reforma "revoluciona el sistema de jurisprudencia," por lo que se eliminará la obligación de estos cinco fallos, y solo bastará un precedente aprobado por una mayoría calificada de la Suprema Corte (SCJN).

    "Se plantea que este Alto Tribunal avance a un sistema de precedentes en el que todas y cada una de sus sentencias tengan un impacto en la vida pública", indicó Zaldívar al presentar la reforma.éxico-justic

    Until now, the Supreme Court needs to rule five times in the same manner in order to establish/set jurisprudence, a precedent that has served to guarantee rights such as marriage equality and the personal use of marijuana.

    But the new revision "revolutionizes the system of jurisprudence," as the requirement of making these five decisions will be eliminated, and it will be sufficient for only one precedent to be approved by a qualified majority of the Supreme Court (SCJN ).

    "It is proposed that this High Court advance to a system of precedents in which each and every one of its rulings have an impact on public life," said Zaldívar when presenting the reform.

  • 18. scream4ever  |  April 26, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Great! This should finally allow for nationwide marriage equality soon.

  • 19. VIRick  |  April 24, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    Arizona: Scottsdale Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

    In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, the Scottsdale City Council, Arizona's 5th-most-populous city, passed an ordinance protecting residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, public places, and housing.

    The council’s actions came a month after the city of Mesa AZ approved a similar measure; “a city code prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, veteran’s status, marital status, or familial status, with certain exclusions.”

    Scottsdale became the eighth city in Arizona to provide protections to members of the LGBTQ community. According to a news release, the ordinance will take effect on 20 May and applies to all all elected and appointed city officials, employees, and volunteers, and to all contractors, vendors, and consultants of the city. The Associated Press reported that the newly approved ordinance has multiple exemptions, including federal and state officials, federally recognized American Indian tribes, and religious organizations. The ordinance will also not apply to anyone who violates any policy or regulation of any places of public accommodation.

    City officials who violate the ordinance could be subject to multiple “responsive actions,” including termination. People not connected with the city who violate the ordinance could face fines between $500 to $2,500 per violation.

    The 8 Arizona cities now with LGBT non-discrimination ordinances are: Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Sedona, Tucson, Flagstaff, Mesa, and Scottsdale. Their combined population of 3,652,000 account for more than 48% of the state's population.

  • 20. VIRick  |  April 25, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    Connecticut: ADF Suit Seeking to Block Trans Participation in School Sports Dismissed

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 25 April 2021, in "Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools," a federal judge has dismissed the ADF lawsuit seeking to block transgender girls from competing as girls in Connecticut school sports: Per the Order, the challenge to the Connecticut policy "is not justiciable at this time and … claims for monetary relief are barred," without addressing other issues.

    The Ruling and Order is here:

    Basically put, this case has just been thrown out as not justiciable (without merit). Thus, there was no need to address the other grounds raised.

    Justiciability refers to the types of matters that a court can adjudicate. Typically, to be justiciable, the court must not be offering an advisory opinion, the plaintiff must have standing, and the issues must be ripe but neither moot nor violative of the political question doctrine. In order to be justiciable, a case must be suitable for the court to hear and decide on the merits. If a case is not justiciable, the court must dismiss it.

    Connecticut's steadfast refusal to back down from its non-discriminatory policy regarding transgender participation in school sports was not only the impetus for this specific lawsuit, of course, but was also the impetus for the recent spate of "pre-emptive" laws in assorted hyper-red states that seemingly appeared from "nowhere," all rushing to address this invented non-issue by ignorant Republican state lawmakers seeking to score a few cheap points in the latest hot topic of the "culture wars." In reality, this entire spectacle is all part of the latest chapter in ADF's playbook.

    So far, Idaho, South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama have all been suckered in, with West Virginia and Montana very likely to join them, as may Texas.

  • 21. VIRick  |  April 26, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Supreme Court Declines Review of "Texas v. California"

    Per Amy Howe:

    On 26 April 2021, SCOTUS decided that it will not review "Texas v. California," the Texas challenge to the California ban on state-funded travel to Texas and other states with laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Alito, joined by Thomas, dissented from the denial of the state's motion for leave to file complaint.

  • 22. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 27, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Here is a link to an article that has a more complete explanation of this case.

  • 23. VIRick  |  April 27, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    SCOTUS Kills Texas Lawsuit Against California Sparked by Anti-Gay Law

    The US Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to California’s ban on state-funded travel to Texas because of the latter state’s anti-LGBTQ adoption law. California banned non-essential state-funded travel to Texas in 2017, after Texas passed a law allowing adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people and anyone else who offends their religious beliefs, without losing state contracts or facing other consequences.

    A California law passed in 2016 allows the state to bar its employees from making non-essential taxpayer-funded trips to states with anti-LGBTQ laws and to add states to the list as needed. Ten other states besides Texas are under the ban.

    Texas Attorney-General Ken Paxton, long known for his anti-LGBTQ activism, sought to have the California law declared unconstitutional. “California’s travel ban is an affront to the sovereignty of Texas, as well as to the ten other States that California has blacklisted,” says a brief Texas filed with the Supreme Court. The brief also argued that the California ban shows “religious animus” toward Texas.

    While the Supreme Court usually only hears cases that have come up from lower courts on appeal, the US Constitution allows for disputes between states to be filed directly with the high court, so that’s what Texas did. But on Monday, 26 April 2021, the justices said they would not hear Texas’s case. The Supreme Court does not generally provide a reason for turning down cases, and it didn’t in this instance. However, two ultra-conservative justices, Alito and Thomas, said they favored taking the case.

  • 24. Fortguy  |  April 26, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    The Census Bureau has released its topline data on congressional reapportionment. Texas will gain two seats while Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon will each gain one.

    Losing one seat each are California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

    Beatrice Jin, Zach Montellaro, Ally Mutnick, and Allan James Vestal, Politico: Which states are gaining House seats in 2022 — and which are losing out

    Earlier forecasts from various demographic prognosticators had expected Texas to gain three seats and for Florida to gain two. New York's population count was just 89 persons shy of allowing that state to keep its delegation intact giving Minnesota, the state that otherwise would have lost a seat, a sigh of relief. Rhode Island unexpectedly kept both of its seats costing Arizona a projected gain. Florida, New York, and Texas all had delayed and ineffective campaigns to encourage census participation. Let the recriminations begin!

    The shifts in seats will make it harder for the Democrats to hold their slim House majority, and represent a red shift in the Electoral College unless Florida, North Carolina, and Texas become more competitive.

    The bureau expects to release the block-level data needed for new maps by the end of September, a process that has been delayed due to Covid and interference from the Trump administration. The delay in adopting maps, and the inevitable lawsuits that follow, will cause many states to push back their filing deadlines and primary calendars. Expect the new maps to cause a rash of retirements when many incumbents find themselves in unfavorable districts.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  April 26, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Texas – Red – +2
    Colorado – Purple – +1
    Florida – Red – +1
    Montana – Red – +1
    NC – Red – +1
    Oregon – Blue – +1
    CA – Blue – -1
    IL – Blue – -1
    MI – Purple – -1
    NY – Blue – -1
    OH – Purple – -1
    PA – Purple – -1
    WV – Red – -1

    Red +4
    Purple -2
    Blue -2

    Considering how big the House is, this is just a minor red-shift.

  • 26. VIRick  |  April 26, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Thailand: Constitutional Court Delays Ruling in Marriage Equality Case to 29 June

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Constitutional Court of Thailand has postponed the reading of the ruling on same-sex marriage until 29 June 2021.

    Here are some details on the case in question, as per a news announcement from the time when the case was first filed in November 2019:

    Thailand: Lesbian Couple Petitions Constitutional Court, Stating Marriage Law Is Unconstitutional

    A lesbian couple in Thailand have filed a petition to the Constitutional Court, arguing that allowing marriage only between a man and a woman contravenes the basic law in the Kingdom. The petition, submitted on Friday, 22 November 2019, was drafted with assistance from the Foundation for SOGI Rights and Justice (FOR-SOGI), which hopes that the judges would help drive changes in the marriage law. SOGI stands for "sexual orientation and gender identity." The petition details the case of Ms Permsup Sae-ung, 49, and Ms Puangpet Hengkum, 34, who were rejected by officials in May 2019 when they tried to register their marriage.

    “The Thai Constitution guarantees our birth rights of having a family and descendants. It also protects us citizens against discrimination of all kinds, including gender,” FOR-SOGI’s adviser Naiyana Supapung told "The Straits Times." “In the existing marriage registration form, your partner has to be a different sex from you. Otherwise, officials will not take your application. That is obviously unconstitutional.”

    According to FOR-SOGI, disallowing same-sex couples from marrying under the conventional law has important legal implications: They cannot use their spouses’ welfare rights to receive medical treatments, do not benefit from life insurance payouts, and also cannot file criminal complaints on behalf of their spouses should the latter be killed or harmed.

  • 27. VIRick  |  April 27, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Switzerland: Government Certifies Signatures on Marriage Equality Referendum

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    As of 27 April 2021, the Swiss Government has certified the signatures requiring a referendum pertaining to last year's marriage equality and gender identity law. In May, the date for the referendum vote is to be set, with the earliest time-frame for said referendum to occur being in September.

  • 28. VIRick  |  April 27, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    South Carolina Lawmakers Again Reject Transgender Athletes Ban

    On Tuesday, 27 April 2021, a committee in the South Carolina House rejected for a second time a proposal that would have prevented transgender students from playing on girls’ sports teams in middle and high school.

    The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-11 against the bill. The same committee voted against a similar proposal on 16 March, leading supporters to change some introductory language, but leaving the essence of the bill untouched for a second try.

  • 29. VIRick  |  April 27, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Gina Ortiz Jones Nominated for Air Force Under Secretary

    Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian Air Force veteran who served in the Iraq war before twice making an attempt to win a congressional seat representing Texas’s 23rd congressional district in the US House, has obtained the nod from President Biden to become the next Air Force Under Secretary.

    Jones, whose nomination is subject to confirmation in the US Senate, was announced as Biden’s nominee for the role on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, in a White House statement announcing a slew of choices for roles in the service. If confirmed, Jones will become the first woman of color to serve as Air Force Under Secretary.

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  April 28, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Concerned father arrested while peacefully testifying against Arkansas trans health care ban

    The father of a transgender teen was arrested while testifying against an anti-trans bill in the Arkansas House because his speech went 30 seconds over his allotted time.

    Video has been shared online of Attig being dragged out of the legislature last month by officers while defending the rights of transgender minors who, like his 22-year-old son did, need access to gender-affirming medical care.

    Attig said that he was taken to jail, where he stayed for several hours, and he now faces a charge of disorderly conduct.

    He said that representatives from the SPLC designated hate groups Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council were allowed to talk for up to 40 minutes, and that only opponents of H.B. 1570 were held to the two-minute time limit.

  • 31. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 29, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Actions such as this require swift appropriate repudiation by the NCAA and other sports related bodies.

  • 32. VIRick  |  April 28, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Colombia: 5th Anniversary of Court Reaffirmation of Marriage Equality for All

    Per Fundación Colectivo Hombres Gay:

    El 28 de abril de 2016, la Corte Constitucional reafirmó los derechos de personas LGBTI al confirmar la validez del matrimonio igualitario.

    On 28 April 2016, the Constitutional Court reaffirmed the rights of LGBTI persons by confirming the validity of marriage equality.

    In Colombia, marriage equality was ushered in by a two-step process. This anniversary is celebrating the date of the second, clarifying written court decision which brought about immediate nationwide validity to marriage equality for all. It is also the date from which most tabulations claim Colombia has had marriage equality in effect, despite the fact that a small number of same-sex couples were able to marry in Colombia, beginning from June 2013, once the 2-year implementation delay had elapsed, as stipulated by the first court ruling of 2011.

  • 33. ianbirmingham  |  April 28, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Trumpanzee guilty of threatening to kill members of Congress after insurrection

    Brendan Hunt, an enthusiastic Trump supporter who called for killing members of Congress days after the Jan. 6 insurrection, was found guilty Wednesday of making a death threat against elected officials.

    It took the jury in his case about three hours to reach a verdict, finding that comments Hunt made in a disturbing video posted online two days after the U.S. Capitol riot amounted to a genuine threat to murder elected officials in Washington.

    He faces up to 10 years in prison.

  • 34. VIRick  |  April 28, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    Alabama Finally Dumps "No Promo Homo" Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 28 April 2021, Alabama Governor Ivey signed the bill removing language calling homosexuality "unacceptable" and "illegal" from its sex-education curriculum, just days after signing another bill to ban transgender students from sports.

    The latest bill, sponsored by Rep. Laura Hall, D-Huntsville, removes a paragraph dating from 1992 that requires courses on human reproduction and sexual education to emphasize that "homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state."

    The bill passed the Alabama House 69 to 30 on 2 March. It passed the Senate 18 to 6 on 20 April, and will now go into effect from 1 July.

  • 35. VIRick  |  April 28, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    Ohio to Allow Transgender Individuals to Correct Gender Marker on Birth Certificates

    Ohio is one of only three states (along with Tennessee and Idaho) that does not allow transgender individuals to correct the gender on their birth certificates. But, that will soon be changing. In December 2020, a federal judge ruled that said ban on correcting the gender marker on birth certificates was unconstitutional. The state has decided that not only will it not appeal the ruling, it is reportedly in talks with legal advocates to make the process simpler.

    According to a recent filing with the court, the Ohio Department of Health is “updating its communications on this issue to reflect compliance” with the court order. The "Cincinnati Enquirer" reports that the state health department is in active discussions with the ACLU of Ohio, who is keeping mum on the progress of the “negotiations.” Ohio is expecting to have a process for allowing trans people to update birth certificates in place by 1 June.

    This is after Judge Michael Watson of the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled in favor of four transgender individuals, supported by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Ohio, and the firm, Thompson Hine, in December 2020. Judge Watson called the ban “intentional and arbitrary” discrimination.

    The ban in Tennessee is still in litigation, while that in Idaho (where the state perversely passed a second ban after the first was ruled unconstitutional) is now in litigation over this same matter for a second time.

  • 36. VIRick  |  April 28, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    West Virginia Governor Signs Anti-Transgender Sports Bill into Law

    On Wednesday, 28 April 2021, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed into law a measure that prohibits transgender girls and women in the state from competing on sports teams at "any public secondary school or state institution of higher education."

    The law, which cleared the state's Republican-led legislature in recent weeks, states that such teams must be designated based on "biological sex," thus prohibiting transgender women and girls from participating on women's athletic teams "where competitive skill or contact is involved."

  • 37. VIRick  |  April 29, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Florida Legislature Approves Anti-Transgender Sports Ban in Last-Minute Maneuver

    On Wednesday night, 28 April 2021, Florida lawmakers passed a retrograde anti-transgender sports bill in an 11th-hour maneuver. Just moments before Pres. Biden, during a joint session of Congress, told “brave” transgender youth that he has their back, the Republican-majority Legislature in Florida revived and approved a bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports according to their gender.

    The measure now heads to the desk of the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, who is likely to sign it into law.

  • 38. VIRick  |  April 29, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Supreme Court: Gorsuch Gives Immigrant Rights a Major Win

    On 29 April 2021, in an extra-ordinary 6-3 decision in "Niz-Chavez v. Garland," one having profound implications for other undocumented long-term US residents (those already resident for 10 years or longer) fighting deportation, but one hinging on the textual meaning of the singular word "a," Gorsuch penned an opinion blasting federal immigration officials (under Trump and prior) for short-circuiting immigration deportation procedures, while also ripping Kavanaugh's dissent. In addition to attracting the votes of the three liberals, Gorsuch, quite surprisingly, also obtained the votes of both Barrett and Thomas.

    "Niz-Chavez v. Garland" is a technical case that boils down the meaning of the word “a.” But in the hands of Justice Gorsuch, it was transformed into a call to arms against big government cutting corners to screw over the people. Playing his favorite role of uncompromising textualist, Gorsuch pilloried the federal government for attempting to deport an unauthorized immigrant (one who had arrived in the USA in 2005) without sending him proper notice of his removal proceedings. In dissent, Justice Kavanaugh accused the majority of being “literalists.” But when someone’s liberty is on the line, taking their rights literally, as written, is precisely what the law requires.

    Much more is explained here as to how such conclusion was reached:

  • 39. VIRick  |  April 29, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Czech Republic: Marriage Equality Bill Passes First Reading in Lower House

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 29 April 2021, a same-sex marriage bill in the Czech Republic cleared an early hurdle in the lower house of parliament. The legislation had languished in parliament for three years and has now split parliamentary factions, as lawmakers voted both in favor and against it within their respective parties.

    The new bill, which was approved in a first reading and which will now head to committee debate before a final vote, amends the Civil Code to say marriage is a union of "two persons," instead of "a man and a woman," as in the current version. Opponents seeking to dismiss the bill lacked six votes from among the 93 lawmakers present.

    At the same session, a counter-bill also passed an initial vote. It aims for the country's Constitution to say that marriage of a man and a woman is protected by law.

    As both bills must also pass the upper chamber, the Senate, and be signed by the president before becoming law, it is rather uncertain whether there is enough time for either to make it to a final vote before the 8-9 October election.

  • 40. VIRick  |  April 29, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Durango: Finally, Very Last State in Mexico with Its First Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Contacto Hoy:

    Katherine y Miriam serán la primera pareja del mismo sexo que consigue unirse en matrimonio por la vía civil en Durango, esto tras haber obtenido un amparo de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación.

    Katherine and Miriam will be the first same-sex couple to be able to unite in civil marriage in Durango, this after having obtained an amparo from the Supreme Court of Justice.

    Per Diversidad Sexual PRD:

    En un hecho histórico, el PRD Mexico en Durango logró que autoridades judiciales ampararan a Katherine y Miriam, convirtiéndose así en la primera pareja del mismo sexo que por esta vía accederá al matrimonio igualitario en el estado.

    In an historic event, PRD Mexico in Durango managed to obtain protection for Katherine and Miriam from judicial authorities, thus their becoming the first same-sex couple to access marriage equality via amparo in the state.

    These two accounts, above, are not quite correct, as both are actually referring to what appears to be only the second same-sex marriage yet to occur in Durango, the first between two females. Still, it has been a long time, as there have been none at all during the 7-plus intervening years since 28 December 2013. Here is the news account detailing that very first same-sex marriage, between men, in Durango in late 2013:

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  April 30, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    DeSantis says he will sign Florida transgender sports bill

  • 42. ianbirmingham  |  May 1, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Trans Republican Caitlyn Jenner opposes letting trans girls play school sports. It’s her first campaign issue.

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  May 1, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    Tennessee passes bill requiring anti-trans signs in businesses with trans-inclusive restrooms

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