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5/11 open thread and some news

Community/Meta Discrimination

– The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Title IX’s provisions will be interpreted to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  May 11, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Cameroonian transgender women convicted of 'attempted homosexuality'

    A court in Cameroon sentenced two transgender women on Tuesday to five years in prison for "attempted homosexuality" and other offences after they were arrested for the clothes they wore in a restaurant, their lawyers said.

    The two received the maximum sentence of five years in prison and fines of 200,000 CFA francs ($372.44), their lawyers told Reuters. Besides "attempted homosexuality," they were convicted of public indecency and failing to carry identification.

    "This is a political decision," said one of the lawyers, Alice Nkom, who vowed to appeal the verdict. "It's Yaounde (the central government) that said these people must not bring homosexuality to Cameroon."

    Cameroon is one of more than 30 African countries where same-sex relations are illegal. Its courts have previously sentenced people to multi-year prison sentences for their alleged homosexuality.

    Fifty-three people have been arrested in raids on HIV and AIDS organisations since May 2020, with some reporting having been beaten and subjected to forced "anal examinations" to confirm accusations of homosexuality.

  • 2. VIRick  |  May 13, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Zacatecas: Raymundo Moreno, Gay PRD Candidate Running for State Congress Seat

    Per Diversidad Sexual PRD:

    Entérate | Raymundo Moreno, candidato LGBTTTI del PRD México al Congreso de Zacatecas busca que se reconozca el matrimonio igualitario y se tipifiquen los crímenes de odio. Con Raymundo Moreno la revolución arcoíris va. Conócelo.

    Raymundo Moreno, LGBTTTI candidate of PRD Mexico to the Zacatecas Congress, seeks recognition of marriage equality and criminalization of hate crimes. With Raymundo Moreno the rainbow revolution continues. Get to know him.

    Presently, Raymundo is president of Orgullo Zacatecas AC (Zacatecas Pride).

  • 3. VIRick  |  May 13, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Venezuela: National Declaration in Favor of IDAHOBIT, 17 May

    Per Carolina Cruz:

    Realmente no se que lógica aplica nuestra Asamblea Venezolana declarando un día nacional contra la discriminación de la comunidad sexo género diversa cuando les seguimos discriminando en nuestro país. Que el matrimonio igualitario no sea un derecho (reconocido legalmente) es discriminar.

    I really do not know what logic our Venezuelan Assembly applies by declaring a national day against discrimination of the sex/gender-diverse community when we continue discriminating against them in our country. Marriage equality not being a (legally recognized) right is discriminatory.

    The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is observed on 17 May.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  May 13, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Could be the Venezuelan equivalent of April Fool's Day…

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  May 13, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Active-duty U.S. Marine officer Major Christopher Warnagiris is charged in federal court for being a Trumpanzee

    Warnagiris, a 40-year-old Woodbridge, Virginia resident, is charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, obstruction of law enforcement, obstruction of Congress, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds, and entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority.

    Warnagiris, whose 18-year tenure in the Marines includes deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges, which will be prosecuted in federal court in Washington.

    Court documents say that after Warnagiris violently entered the Capitol he positioned himself in the corner of the doorway and used his body to prop the door open and pull other rioters inside.

    Video surveillance footage shows Warnagiris pushing a cop who tried to shut the door, according to a criminal complaint.

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  May 13, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Trumpanzee U.S. Marine Officer Can Also Be Court-Martialled

    A court-martial trial will not bar prosecution for the same offense under the state or federal court system should they have concurrent jurisdiction over the accused.

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  May 13, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Active-Duty Marine Corps Major Stationed at Quantico Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting Officer During Capitol Siege

    Warnagiris was scheduled to make his initial appearance at 2 p.m. on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case will then be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the DOJ National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

    The Marine Corps, in a statement confirming that Warnagiris is on active duty, said, “Participation with hate or extremist groups of any kind is directly contradictory to the core values of honor, courage, and commitment that we stand for as Marines and isn’t tolerated by the Marine Corps. We are proud of the fact that Marines come from every race, creed, cultural background and walk of life. We expect every Marine to treat their fellow Marines with dignity and respect. Those who can’t value the contributions of others, regardless of background, are destructive to our culture, our warfighting ability, and have no place in our ranks.”

    Read the charging documents below.

  • 8. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 14, 2021 at 5:52 am

    As a retired U.S. Navy Commander (Dental Corps), this case makes me very angry because Warnagiris' actions reflect very badly on my service to my country in the healing arts.

  • 9. VIRick  |  May 13, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Virginia: Mark Levine (D), Out State Delegate Running for Lt. Governor

    Gay Virginia state Delegate Mark Levine (D-Alexandria), currently running for Lieutenant-Governor, has spent his life fighting for progressive change – and winning. Levine, who is currently serving his sixth year in the Virginia legislature, has the potential to become the first out gay Lieutenant-Governor in any of the 50 states, as well as the first out gay man elected to statewide office in Virginia.

    “There’s no doubt that representation matters,” said Levine, a longtime LGBTQ activist who is considered a pioneer in the marriage equality movement. He brings solid advocacy credentials to the job. Levine co-founded Marriage Equality California and helped launch the Valentine’s Day Marriage Protests, an act of civil disobedience that caught on nationwide. He also co-wrote Washington DC’s marriage equality law.

    The Democratic primary in Virginia takes place on 8 June.

  • 10. VIRick  |  May 13, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Montana: Federal Court Rules in Favor of Gay Man Challenging "Sex Offender" Status

    A Montana man convicted of consensual gay sex in 1994 will not have to register as a sex offender. He was convicted in Idaho of “crimes against nature” with another teenager and spent seven years in prison before being released. Randall Menges was 18 at the time he had sex with two 16-year-old boys. If the boys had been 16-year-old girls, it would have been legal since the “crimes against nature” law only applied to sodomy and oral sex.

    Or, argued slightly differently, as per Judge Dana Christensen's ruling in "Menges v. Fox," issued on 11 May 2021: “Montana has no rational basis for forcing Menges to register as a sexual offender on the basis of a 1994 Idaho conviction for engaging in oral or anal sex with a 16-year old male when he was 18, but not forcing those to register as a sexual offender who were convicted in Idaho in 1994 at the age of 18 for engaging in vaginal sex with a 16-year old female." Thus, the requirement to register as a sex offender was declared unconstitutional. It was further ruled that a person who has consensual gay sex does not pose a threat to public safety.

    Montana repealed its unenforceable sodomy law in 2013, ten years after the Supreme Court struck down all such laws nationwide. However, Idaho, South Carolina, and Mississippi all still require anyone convicted under their sodomy laws (prior to 2003) to register as a sex offender.

    The Montana Attorney-General claims he intends to appeal the instant ruling.

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  May 13, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    US Army launches new animated recruitment video featuring LGBT family

    “It begins in California, with a little girl raised by two moms,” Ms Malonelord says in the clip. “Although I had a fairly typical childhood, took ballet, played violin, I also marched for equality.”

    “I like to think I’ve been defending freedom from a young age.”

    The animation flashes to a frame of an LGBT pride parade, with the young girl and her mothers in attendance.

    The video then illustrates one of Ms Malonelord’s mother's recovery from an accident that left her paralysed with the parent “eventually standing at the altar to marry [her] other mom”.

    “Sure, I’d spent my life around inspiring women, but what had I really achieved on my own?” the animated version of Ms Malonelord asks after completing university.

    After meeting with an Army recruiter Emma finds a way to prove “her inner strength” and “maybe shatter some stereotypes along the way”.

    General Patrick Michaelis, deputy commander of US Army Recruiting Command, told that the new videos are a “distinct departure” from previous campaigns.

    “Both in its arresting kind of visual, this anime approach but also an intimate portrayal of those who serve," Mr Michaelis said.

  • 12. bayareajohn  |  May 14, 2021 at 10:41 am

    That url does not work. This one might.

  • 13. VIRick  |  May 14, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Oregon: Next State to Ban LGBT "Panic" Defense

    Today, 14 May 2021, the Oregon legislature just sent a bill banning the LGBTQ "panic" defense to the desk of Gov. Kate Brown (D) for her signature. Once signed, Oregon would thus become the 15th state to ban the LGBTQ "panic" defense, a defense in which the defendant claims that they attacked their victim after they found out that the victim was gay or trans, sending said attacker into a “panic” about their own heterosexuality.

    The Oregon House of Representatives voted 54-0 to pass SB 704, the bill banning the practice. The state’s Democratic governor – who is also the country’s first out bisexual governor – is fully expected to sign it.

    To re-cap, during the current legislative session, state #13 to pass a similar measure was Virginia, #14 was Vermont, #15 is Oregon, and #16 will be Maryland, once Gov. Hogan (R) signs it.

    Jurisdictions that had previously banned the same defense are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington State. › citations-panic-defense-bans

  • 14. VIRick  |  May 14, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Vietnam: First Openly LGBT Candidate Running for National Assembly Seat

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Luong The Huy, who has become the pride of the LGBTI community for contesting elections as an openly gay man, promises to be a voice for young people. The Hanoi LGBTI rights and gender equality activist and director of the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy, and Environment (iSEE) has nominated himself for the 23 May elections to the National Assembly and to the Hanoi People's Council.

    The 33-year-old, an openly gay man, began LGBTI advocacy work in 2008 and was on Forbes Vietnam's "30 Under 30" list of the most inspiring young people in 2016. After obtaining a Master of Law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in law and sexuality, he returned to Vietnam and took over as director of iSEE, which "works for the rights of minority groups in Vietnam to envision a more equal, tolerant, and free society in which everyone's human rights are respected and individuality valued."

  • 15. VIRick  |  May 14, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Tennessee: Anti-Transgender School "Bathroom" Bill Signed into Law

    On Friday, 14 May 2021, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee quietly signed an anti-transgender “bathroom" bill into law. The legislation, House Bill 1233, will deny trans students and staff in public schools access to multi-occupancy restrooms and changing rooms aligning with their gender identity, while requiring schools to make “reasonable accommodations” for them, for example, to allow their use of a single-occupancy or faculty restroom.

    It further states that if someone “encounters a person of the opposite sex” — a definition that includes transgender individuals — in a multi-occupancy facility, it is grounds for a lawsuit. That is also the case if anyone is housed with a member of the “opposite sex” during school activities that require overnight stays.

    This is the third anti-LGBTQ bill Lee has signed into law this session. The first one signed bars trans students from joining the school sports teams aligning with their gender identity, and the second requires schools to give parents a 30-day notice about any lessons that deal with sexual orientation or gender identity and allow the parents to opt their children out of that instruction.

    Two other trans-phobic measures are awaiting his signature or veto. One would ban gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors, and the other would require businesses and government buildings to post warning signs if they allow transgender individuals to use the restrooms or changing rooms designated for their gender identity.

  • 16. VIRick  |  May 15, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Uruguay Struts Strong LGBT Message at Miss Universe Contest

    Per Liliana Berna:

    Uruguay está dejando huella. La representante de nuestro país en Miss Universo, Lola de los Santos, al momento de desfilar con trajes "típicos," decidió salir a pura militancia LGBT. A puro mensaje. Chapeau!

    Uruguay is leaving its mark. The representative of our country in Miss Universe, Lola de los Santos, at the moment of parading in "typical" costumes, decided to go with pure LGBT militancy. A clean message. Hats off!

    Srta. de los Santos strutted out on stage wearing a rainbow flag outfit with bold black lettering that declared in English: "No More Hate, Violence, Rejection, Discrimination."

  • 17. VIRick  |  May 15, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Chileans Vote for Constituent Assembly Members to Re-Write Constitution

    On Saturday-Sunday, 15-16 May 2021, Chileans are going to the polls to elect 155 people who will re-write the country's dictatorship-era constitution in a bid to address deep-seated social inequality that gave rise to deadly protests in 2019. Some 14 million people are eligible to vote in what many consider to be Chile's most important election since its return to democracy 31 years ago.

    Chile's constitution dates from 1980, enacted at the height of dictator Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 rule, and is widely blamed for blocking equitable progress in a country ranked as one of the most unequal among advanced economies. This inequality was one of the main drivers of protests that began in October 2019, resulting a month later, after 36 deaths, in the government agreeing to a referendum on a new constitution.

    This weekend, more than 1,300 candidates are in the running to fill the 155 seats, including 52 who are LGBT, with at least one LGBT candidate running in 22 of the 28 national districts. In addition, by design, in a world first, half the candidates are women, as will be the 155-member drafting group that will then have nine months to come up with a new founding law for Chile, one which will be approved or rejected next year in a mandatory national vote. Furthermore, 17 seats in the constitution-writing convention are reserved for indigenous representatives.

    This weekend, voters will also elect regional governors, mayors, and local council members, usually a litmus test for presidential elections, next due in November.

    LGBT activists are quite hopeful that marriage equality and adoption rights for same-sex couples will be enshrined in this new constitution.

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 16, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Chile: Constituent Assembly Election Results, Independents, Center-Left, Far-Left Win

    Chile's center-right ruling coalition, Chile Vamos, appears set to fail in its bid to keep control of the body drafting the country's new constitution, falling well short of the necessary one-third of votes needed to effectively block proposals not to its liking, securing only 21% of the votes, according to the electoral authority Servel.

    With about 70% of the votes counted, CNN's local channel in Chile projected independents would win 45 seats, Chile Vamos would gain 39, the center-left 25, the far-left 28, and a small coalition would take just one seat. The remaining 17 seats are reserved for Indigenous representatives.

    The next morning, with 98.3% of the votes counted, the slightly revised figures indicate that independent candidates had secured 48 seats, the far-left still had 28, the center-left had 25, and the right-wing Chile Vamos coalition had dropped to 37. In order to be successful, all proposals to the new constitution require a 2/3 vote, that is, 104 favorable votes, while 52 votes against would block the measure.

    Gabriel Boric, a leading member of Chile's far-left Broad Front coalition, said the vote heralded big changes for the free-market economy of the world's largest copper producer. "We are looking for a new treaty for our Indigenous population, to recover our natural resources, build a state that guarantees universal social rights," he said. "The right doesn't have its third. We're going to start from scratch and build a new Chile."

    Guaranteeing universal social rights would include both marriage equality and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

  • 19. VIRick  |  May 16, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Lithuania: Same-Sex Civil Unions to Be Debated in Parliament

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Openly gay MP Tomas Vytautas Raskevicius is behind the drive for legal recognition for same-sex partners, which parliament is expected to consider in June.

    The new legislation aims to grant LGBT couples inheritance rights, joint ownership of property, procedural guarantees, and the option to change their surnames, but does not include the right to adopt children, according to local media. The measure has split the conservative-led coalition government, but could still muster enough support among governing liberals and opposition social democrats to pass.

    In the meantime, on Saturday, 15 May 2021, thousands rallied in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius against the draft legislation allowing civil unions for same-sex couples, a controversial move in the predominantly Catholic country.

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