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5/3 open thread


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


  • 1. VIRick  |  May 3, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    9th Circuit Court of Appeals: "Hecox v. Little," Suit against Idaho's Anti-Trans Sports Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 3 May 2021, at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Oral Argument was heard in "Hecox v. Little," the federal suit challenging Idaho law banning transgender girls/women from participating in women's sports. These two consolidated cases, one by the state Defendants (20-35813) and a second by ADF-represented Intervenors (20-35815), have appealed a Preliminary Injunction blocking the law from going into effect.….

    Idaho's anti-transgender sports ban was enacted in 2020, and thus, the case against it is much further along in its court process than any challenge to similar laws recently enacted in other states in 2021.

  • 2. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 4, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    Hecox v Little

    I watched the oral arguments in this case yesterday. It did not bid well for the plaintiffs. First off, these oral arguments were not about the merits of the case—the district court has not yet determined the merits. Rather, in typical ADF fashion, it was about the district court grant of a temporary injunction in favor of the plaintiffs.

    From the arguments, probably neither plaintiff Hecox nor plaintiff intervener Jane Doe a minor represented by her parents have standing in the case because neither has suffered any concrete harm nor is it eminent that they likely will.

    Hecox enrolled in Boise State but did not try out for girls basketball. She subsequently took a leave of absence and stated that she fully intended return to university in the fall and try out for the girls basketball team. However, Hecox’s legal team did not submit a declaration of intent to return to university. Judge Kleinfeld (H. W. Bush appointee) asked about this point. The other two judges, Wardlaw and Gould are Clinton appointees.

    Jane Doe is a cisgender socker player in high school. She is already on the team. Since she is very masculine in appearance and action. She is concerned if the anti-trans women’s sports bill remains constitutional she may be denied playing girls soccer in her senior year. She has no evidence to support her claim.

  • 3. VIRick  |  May 7, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    9th Circuit Court of Appeals Orders More Briefing in "Hecox" on Two Issues

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 6 May 2021, the 9th Circuit Court panel ordered supplemental briefing in "Hecox" addressing mootness and standing:

    1) Is Lindsay Hecox’s claim moot because she is not (currently) enrolled at Boise State University?
    2) Does Jane Doe have standing based on the risk of having her sex disputed?

    The Order is here:

  • 4. VIRick  |  May 3, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    North Carolina: Republican House Speaker Drops Anti-Transgender Sports Bill

    The North Carolina General Assembly has set aside the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” HB 358, an anti-transgender female sports bill, for the rest of the current legislative session, House Speaker Tim Moore told the AP in an interview. “The House will not be taking up that bill,” Moore said. “We’ve spoken with the bill sponsors and others and simply believe that there’s not a need to take it up at this time.” The Speaker called the legislation “a solution in search of a problem that has not yet surfaced in North Carolina.”

    The state’s Democratic Governor, Roy Cooper, is an LGBTQ ally and has also cautioned that he would likely issue a veto, one which would stand, as Republicans majorities are not veto-proof in either legislative body, and thus would be unable to override a gubernatorial veto.….

    A week ago, the North Carolina Republican Senate leader, Phil Berger, announced that that body would not move forward with a separate controversial bill, SB 514, one that would have placed limitations on gender-affirming care for transgender individuals under 21, while also penalizing doctors for providing such gender-affirming care.

  • 5. VIRick  |  May 3, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Kansas: GOP Senate Fails to Override Veto of Anti-Transgender Sports Bill

    Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of a bill two weeks ago, SB 55, a measure that would have banned participation of transgender youth athletes in high school and college in girls’ and women’s sports, will stand.

    On Monday, 3 May 2021, in a 26-14 vote, Republican Senate lawmakers were unable to muster the support needed to overturn the Governor’s action, leaving backers of the measure one vote short of the necessary two-thirds majority, the AP reported. The Senate rejection thus also blocked an override vote in the House.….

  • 6. VIRick  |  May 4, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Cuba: Mariela Castro, Commission Member Drafting New Family Code

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The 31 members of the Commission tasked with drafting the new Family Code have recently been announced, and includes longtime LGBT activist Mariela Castro. When completed, the new Code is expected to include marriage equality, with this completed final draft then being put to a popular referendum in 2022.

    Según el Acuerdo Número 149 del Consejo de Estado, el grupo está integrado por 31 personas a las que les corresponde "perfeccionar la labor que se ha desarrollado por años en diferentes versiones del documento."

    According to Agreement Number 149 of the Council of State, the group is comprised of 31 persons who are responsible for "perfecting the work that has been developed for years within different versions of the document."

    The entire list of 31 names, along with their individual qualifications and/or official position, is published in the above-referenced source, as per the "Gaceta Oficial."

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  May 4, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Four Months Later, Trumpanzees Are Still Being Arrested

    3 Trumpanzees were arrested as recently as Monday and charged with federal crimes

    Over 400 Trumpanzees now face charges in federal courts

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  May 4, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Alabama GOP candidates for U.S. Senate are battling over who is more angry over transgender children playing sports

    Two candidates for the Alabama Republican Senate nomination are trying to out-do each other with early, far-right appeals criticizing transgender children's athletic participation.

  • 9. VIRick  |  May 4, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Washington State: "Pritchard v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 4 May 2021, in "Pritchard v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois," a federal judge has denied the defendant's Motion to Dismiss in a case challenging a blanket exclusion of gender-affirming care in an employer-provided health insurance plan.

    "The fundamental issue in this motion is whether a plaintiff who alleges that he was denied insurance coverage for medical treatment because he is transgender states a claim for sex discrimination under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. The Court finds that he does."

  • 10. VIRick  |  May 5, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Worldwide LGBT Travel Safety Index

    "Out Traveler" has published a rather comprehensive worldwide list of the 150 most-visited countries, ranking them from worst to best, based upon 9 different criteria, and grading the results from "F" to "A.". Of course, not every country is even listed, as any number of the most highly undesirable destinations simply do not have a sufficient number of visitors/tourists (of whatever sexual orientation) to even qualify. Still, of those that do, the top of the list (150-140), as "worst," is quite nightmarish:

    Saudi Arabia
    United Arab Emirates

    On the opposite extreme, the safest countries for LGBT visitors (1-11) are:

    United Kingdom

    Within Latin America, Guatemala (99), Paraguay (97), and the Dominican Republic (93) are the worst to have made the list, while Guyana and Suriname did not even appear. Many of the British/ex-British colonial possessions are also not listed, but of those that are, like Barbados and St. Lucia, their scores are quite poor, in part, due to the continued presence of their antiquated, draconian anti-sodomy laws. Plus, the French Overseas Departments are not listed separately, but had they been, they would have scored much better than their immediate ex-British neighbors, as France itself is #11, and all the laws are identical.

  • 11. VIRick  |  May 5, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Argentina: 11th Anniversary of Marriage Equality Approval

    Per Alan Muñoz:

    Un 5 de mayo de 2010, la Cámara de Diputados de la Nación votaba la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario, con 125 votos afirmativos y 109 negativos. Este proyecto obtenía así media sanción que luego sería aprobada por el Senado de la Nación el 15 de julio de 2010.

    On 5 May 2010, the National Chamber of Deputies voted for the Marriage Equality Law, with 125 affirmative votes to 109 negative. This bill thus obtained halfway passage that would later be approved by the National Senate on 15 July 2010.

  • 12. VIRick  |  May 5, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Vermont Bans Gay/Transgender "Panic" Defense

    On Wednesday, 5 May 2021, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed legislation that bans the use of the so-called gay "panic” defense in courts of law. The defense is a legal strategy used by a defendant on trial for a violent crime in which they typically seek to supplement a temporary insanity defense by arguing that an unwanted advance from a gay person led them to such a state of rage that they admittedly committed a violent crime, up to and including murder.

    A companion strategy called the transgender "panic” defense is sometimes used by defendants who have sex or otherwise hook up with a transgender woman, then attack or murder them, and afterward, claim that they were initially "unaware" of the victim’s transgender status.

    The legislation, H.128, was co-sponsored by Rep. Mari Cordes, a Democrat who represents Lincoln, and Rep. Taylor Small, a Democrat who represents Winooski and is the only open transgender member of the Vermont House of Representatives. Vermont has now become the 14th state to enact such a ban.

  • 13. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 6, 2021 at 6:22 am

    “A new exhaustive report from Catholic theologians and other scholars denounces the Church’s negative doctrine on homosexuality with the aim of helping 'end this cruel and false teaching.'”

    A press statement summarized this interdisciplinary initiative:

    “In this new report, theologians have joined forces to prove there is no warrant for the official Catholic Church’s vilification of same-sex unions. . .The Vatican as well as most other Christian Churches bear responsibility for continuing discrimination against people in same-sex relationships by asserting biblical grounds to justify their condemnation. Our report intends to help end this cruel and false teaching. . .

    “The research report is a critical assessment of current papal teaching which bleakly condemns same-sex acts and relationships. We want to draw the attention of Vatican authorities and bishops worldwide to the disconnect between papal teaching and academic scholarship and compel them to review and change their outdated and cruel teaching. We also want to help all Christian communities by offering robust academic support to their initiatives to resolve divisions and make Churches fully inclusive of people in same-sex relationships. We aim to end discrimination dressed up as doctrine.”

    The study document is here:

    The forward to the study is here:

  • 14. VIRick  |  May 6, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Cuba: New Family Code to Be Presented to Parliament in July

    Per "Tremenda Nota" del 5 de mayo 2021:

    El Código de las Familias será presentado en julio al parlamento cubano. Cenesex hizo el anunció en una conferencia de prensa el 4 de mayo 2021.

    The Family Code will be presented to the Cuban parliament in July. Cenesex made the announcement at a press conference on 4 May 2021.

    Cenesex (El Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual), of course, is the Cuban governmental agency headed by Mariela Castro Espín. Thus, one presumes that the newly modified code, when presented, will contain provisions permitting marriage equality.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  May 6, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Hilltop home of first lesbian couple to legally marry in San Francisco will become a landmark to protect it from demolition

    The house of lesbian activists Phyllis Lyons and Del Martin has been granted landmark status. They had been together more than 50 years, during which they had the first gay wedding in San Francisco.

  • 16. VIRick  |  May 6, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Utah Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Transgender Rights

    On 6 May 2021, with a sharp rebuke, the Utah Supreme Court overturned a district judge's decision to deny two transgender people the right to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity.

    In Utah, only judges have the ability to change someone’s gender marker or other information on their birth certificate. While most judges have routinely performed the bureaucratic procedure without fuss, one contrary judge decided to deny petitions from Sean Childers-Gray and Angie Rice. The judge also used derogatory language when issuing their ruling.

    Speaking for the majority, Justice Deno Himonas pointed out that the two petitioners met all the requirements already set out by the legislature for the change to be properly done and that the procedure is normally done without controversy. “Accordingly, we reverse and remand with instructions to enter orders granting their sex-change petitions.”

    The court’s ruling included the notation that “language matters” in several places, pointing out that it is important to use proper pronouns, descriptions, and names. “We address appellants by their appropriate pronouns,” the court wrote in the decision. “The ease with which we could have misgendered them by using opposite-sex pronouns, despite their appearance and pronouncements, amplifies the importance of matching their government identification documents to their held-out identities.”

    “As for the district court‘s declaration that ‘some biological facts are not subject to voluntary modification,’ the reader must be clinically aware by now that the sex change we are discussing has less to do with biology than with identity,” he wrote. “And as for the hypotheticals suggested by the district court, we generally frown upon unsupported slippery-slope arguments.”

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  May 6, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Taiwan court ruling on Macau citizen opens door to international same-sex marriages

    A high court on Thursday (May 6) ruled that same-sex marriage between a Taiwanese citizen and a Macau national should be recognized in Taiwan, opening the door to marriages with others who come from countries where same-sex marriage is illegal.

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 6, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    Taiwan Court: Government Must Issue Marriage License to Bi-National Gay Couple

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A Taiwanese court has ordered the government to grant a marriage license to a bi-national Taiwan-Macau LGBT couple; the current law in Taiwan only allows bi-national couples to marry if both partners come from marriage equality countries. At present, Macau does not afford same-sex couples the ability to marry.

    Taiwan-Macau Gay Couple Win Legal Battle for Marriage Recognition

    On Thursday, 6 May 2021, a Taiwan court ruled in favor of a Taiwanese-Macanese gay couple in a legal test case greeted by activists as a first step toward obtaining full recognition of same-sex unions with foreigners. The Taipei High Administrative Court revoked a government office's 2019 decision to reject the marriage registration of Ting Tse-yen and his partner Leong Chin-fai from Macau.

    In Taiwan, marriages must be recorded at local household registration offices to be deemed legal. This is the first time a court has directly ordered the household registration office to record an international same-sex marriage, according to their lawyer Victoria Hsu. While the ruling sets a precedent, it will not automatically apply to other international same-sex couples, Hsu said, as she urged the government to amend the law to avoid multiple legal battles.

  • 19. VIRick  |  May 6, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Germany: Multiple Court Challenges Seeking Automatic Co-Parenting Recognition

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Germany, more than a dozen lesbian couples have filed court challenges seeking automatic co-parenting recognition. Currently, only the biological mother is legally recognized as a parent; her female partner must go through a formal adoption process to become the child’s second parent, even if they are married. The process can take years.

    Cases are being heard in family courts around the country, with two cases now heading to the federal Constitutional Court, where a ruling in favor of the women could force the government to change the law. The “Nodoption” or no adoption initiative began with Christina Klitzsch-Eulenburg and Janina Eulenburg who filed their case in August 2020 seeking to be recognized as co-parents of their child, but whose case has been put on hold until the Constitutional Court rules on the other two lawsuits.

    Berlin-based Carrie and Marie-Luise are one of the two couples whose cases were referred on to the Constitutional Court in March 2021. Lawyer Lucy Chebout, who represents several “Nodoption” families, believes it could take about two years before a ruling is made in either case. But she is optimistic.

  • 20. VIRick  |  May 7, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Time Flies When Happily Gay-Married

    Per Rubén Mouriño (em Galego):

    Parece que foi onte e xa pasaron 10 anos… matrimonio igualitario en Taborda, Galicia, España.

    It seems that it was yesterday and now 10 years have passed … equal marriage in Taborda, Galicia, Spain.

    Taborda is a village near Pontevedra, just north of the Rio Minho, the border between Spain and Portugal.

  • 21. VIRick  |  May 7, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Montana: Governor Signs Anti-Transgender Sports Bill into Law

    On 7 May 2021, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed HB 112 into law, an anti-transgender bill that requires student athletes to compete in sports based upon their biological sex. The discriminatory measure was approved by the Republican-controlled legislature in April.

    Montana's bill included an amendment that would void the law if the federal government decided to withhold education funding to the state based on the discriminatory nature of HB 112 and if Montana's appeal in any resulting court challenge failed.

  • 22. VIRick  |  May 8, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    Andorra: Marriage Equality Up-Date on Pending Legislation

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    For a third time, the Andorra Parliament has delayed the debate on the marriage equality bill, one which has been included within a much broader updating and revamping of personal/family law, the "Qualified Bill of the Person and the Family," until 27 May:

    Proposició de Llei Qualificada de la Persona i de la Família, 27/05/2021, a les 13.30 h.

    However, the last date for the possible inclusion of any further amendments has already passed, meaning that the entire measure is down to this final debate and a vote.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  May 9, 2021 at 4:03 am

    A New Era for Housing Protections: HUD enforces the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ individuals

    If LGBTQ individuals believe they have been subject to discrimination, they can file complaints with HUD against any party involved in the housing process. Such discrimination, HUD explains, could arise when a gay man is evicted because his landlord believes he could infect other tenants with HIV/AIDS. It could also occur when a transgender woman is asked by the owner of her apartment building to refrain from wearing women’s clothing in common areas.

    HUD’s recent enforcement policies arrive in light of a historic lack of protections for LGBTQ individuals in housing that have left many vulnerable to discrimination and with little recourse. Studies show that LGBTQ people are more likely to experience homelessness and face longer durations of housing instability than non-LGBTQ people. In particular, LGBTQ youth are 120 percent more likely to experience homelessness, and up to 40 percent of all homeless young adults identify as LGBTQ.

    In addition, LGBTQ individuals with additional marginalized identities, such as people of color or individuals with disabilities, experience even higher rates of discrimination. For example, 17.6 percent of LGBTQ people with disabilities and 12.5 percent of LGBTQ people of color require public housing assistance, compared to 2.5 percent of non-LGBTQ individuals. In addition, Black transgender people face the greatest effects of housing instability within LGBTQ communities. More than 42 percent of Black transgender individuals experience homelessness at some point in their lives, compared to 30 percent of LGBTQ people generally.

    LGBTQ advocates reportedly celebrated the Biden Administration’s executive order, especially in light of the previous Administration’s attempts to limit these protections.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  May 10, 2021 at 3:23 am

    German Catholics to bless gay unions despite Vatican ban

    Germany’s powerful Catholic progressives are openly defying a recent Holy See pronouncement that priests cannot bless same-sex unions by offering such blessings at services in about 100 different churches all over the country this week.

    The dozens of church services celebrating blessings of gay unions are the latest escalation in tensions between conservatives and progressives that have already sparked alarm, primarily from the right, that part of the German church might be heading into schism.

  • 25. VIRick  |  May 10, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Germany: Hundreds of Priests Bless Same-Sex Couples

    Per Juan Carlos Molina:

    El amor gana: Cientos de sacerdotes alemanes abren sus parroquias en un "maratón de bendiciones" a parejas homosexuales.

    Love wins: Hundreds of German priests open their parish churches in a "marathon of blessings" of same-sex couples.

    Keep an eye on this site, as this "marathon of blessings" is likely to spread to Spain:

  • 26. VIRick  |  May 10, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Arkansas: Gay Republican, Other Curiosities Running for US Senator

    Michael Deel is hardly the only human curiosity running to be the next US Senator from Arkansas. The gay Republican says he will run against everything the party stands for in an attempt to “prevent these radical-right extremists from taking over” a party that they already fairly completely dominate.

    The competition so far includes a former football player currently masquerading as the incumbent, a bigoted gun range owner who won’t allow Muslims on her property, and a gun-lovin’ pastor who thinks everyone has a right to own a tank. The competition will be insanely stiff.

    “If elected, I will be the first openly gay Republican senator elected to office,” Deel told the "Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette." “Being gay and being a Republican, which is kind of a unicorn in this day and time, I felt like I could make a difference.”

    The seat is currently held by Sen. John Boozman (R), a former Arkansas Razorbacks football player from Ft. Smith, a point that, from 2000 (for a House seat), ostensibly gave him enough name-recognition for "electibility" within the confines of that benighted state. Ever since, Boozman has racked up a sordid history of voting against LGBTQ civil rights, voting against women's rights, and voting against those of persons with disabilities.

    In the same 2022 election cycle, we would be remiss if we failed to point out that Huckleberry's daughter is apparently running for Governor. The current Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, is term-limited, and can not run again.

  • 27. VIRick  |  May 10, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    HHS Dumps Trump-Era Rules That Allowed LGBT Discrimination

    On Monday, 10 May 2021, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in healthcare, stating a recent Supreme Court ruling that codified such bias as illegal.

    “The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and to receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, citing the 2020 decision in "Bostock v. Clayton County."

    “Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forego care, which can have serious negative health consequences. It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone, including all LGBTQ people, should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

    The HHS Office for Civil Rights will enforce the ban on anti-LGBTQ discrimination, with hospitals, clinics, and medical providers facing sanctions if they run afoul of it.

  • 28. VIRick  |  May 10, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Bolivia: Constitutional Court Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Bolivia's justice minister says marriage equality is in process at the Constitutional Court, which is collecting amicus curiae briefs, and that the matter should be decided "now." Bolivia is bound to adhere to the 2017 Inter-American Court (CIDH) marriage equality ruling (OC 24/17).

    Per Ivan Lima Magne, Ministro de Justicia y Transparencia Institucional, Ex Magistrado Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, Ex Director Nacional de la Defensa Pública:

    El tema del matrimonio igualitario está en trámite en nuestro Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional que ha pedido “amicus curiae” a la Iglesia Católica y otras entidades y personas expertas. Este es un tema que debería tener mayor debate en el país y decidirse ya.

    The issue of marriage equality is pending in our Plurinational Constitutional Court, which has requested "amicus curiae" briefs from the Catholic Church and other entities/institutions/NGOs and experts. This is a matter that should have had further debate in the country and be decided now.

    In my Spanish vocabulary, there are two words that can be translated as "now," one being much more forceful than the other:

    "Ahora" is present tense "now," as in "right now, at this present moment, today."
    "Ya" is past tense "now," as in "now already, ever since last week, last month, last year, quite some time ago," and is most forceful when placed at the very end of the sentence.

    That's why the slogan chanted all over Latin America is "Matrimonio Igualitrio Ya," and why the Justice Minister ended his statement with "y decidirse ya."

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  May 11, 2021 at 12:48 am

    SF's Megan Rohrer Elected as First Openly Transgender Bishop in US Lutheran Church

    San Francisco's Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, becoming the first openly transgender person in the U.S. to do so in a major Christian denomination. Rohrer will serve as bishop of the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod, which encompasses close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada.

    Rohrer is a community chaplain coordinator for the San Francisco Police Department and helped organize an apology from SFPD for its historic transphobia.

    In 2006, at a time when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America banned LGBTQ pastors from serving openly, Rohrer was ordained through an "extraordinary candidacy process." Their ordainment was officially recognized by the church in 2010 after the ELCA changed its policy.

    Last year, Rohrer gained some celebrity for an appearance in the fifth season premiere of Queer Eye, in which they lent support to an openly gay bishop in Philadelphia who was on an emotional journey to self-acceptance.

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