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On first day of Pride Month, SCOTUS doesn’t take action in case we’re following


This morning, the Supreme Court released two more decisions in argued cases from this term. The Court still has not decided Fulton v. Philadelphia, one of its oldest undecided cases. The case involves foster care and adoption and religious exemptions.

It’s June, so we expect the case to be decided sometime within the next few weeks.


  • 1. VIRick  |  June 1, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Florida: Governor Signs Anti-Transgender Sports Bill into Law

    On 1 June 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked off Pride Month by signing an anti-transgender bill into law, the first explicitly anti-LGBTQ law in the state in more than a decade. The Human Rights Campaign has promised to sue over it.

    Standing behind a placard touting the so-called Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, DeSantis held a signing ceremony for legislation prohibiting trans girls and women from competing in school sports consistent with their gender identity. He signed the bill despite threats of economic boycotts and the possibility that the National Collegiate Athletic Association will pull championship events from the state.

    The Florida legislation appeared dead at one point during the session, but was revived in a last-minute procedural maneuver as an amendment to an unrelated bill. That meant that the governor ended up signing a bill related to charter schools, but one that also included discriminatory language against trans women athletes.

    In part, the HRC stated: "All Floridians will have to face the consequences of this anti-transgender legislation — including economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation. In Florida, we are ensuring that there are legal consequences to pay for being on the wrong side of history."

  • 2. VIRick  |  June 1, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Maryland: Ban on Anti-LGBTQ "Panic" Defense Becomes Law

    In Maryland, a bill that bans the anti-LGBTQ "panic" defense will take effect from 1 October 2021. On 28 May, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he will allow HB 231 to become law without his signature.

    In the same announcement, Hogan also said he would allow House Bill 130, which creates the Commission on LGBTQ Affairs in the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, to become law without his signature. That measure, like HB 231, will take effect from 1 October.

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 1, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Chile Has Finally Lurched to the Left in a Major Way for Marriage Equality

    As an opening salvo to begin Pride Month, on 1 June 2021, the President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, has finally announced that he is in favor of the passage of the long-stalled marriage equality legislation. This is major jaw-dropping news.

    The website, "Matrimonio Igualitario," has gone absolutely bonkers over the news, with hundreds and hundreds of posts, literally non-stop, for hours and hours on end. Some are from posters in favor of marriage equality, breathing a deep sigh of relief, while most are from cis-gender hetero right-wingers and a massive collection of seriously butt-hurt nut-job Evangelicals, denouncing the announcement, denouncing Piñera (like calling him Piraña), denouncing his political party (UDI), while simultaneously expressing an intense sense of "betrayal," finally admitting that the reason they voted for him in the first place was because he ran on a platform that did not support marriage equality.

    However, Piñera can read the handwriting on the wall. In the recent vote for the members of the Constituent Assembly to re-write the Constitution, the left won, and won decisively. The newly-revised constitution, once completed and approved by the voters, will guarantee marriage equality and adoption rights. Piñera knows this, and is attempting to salvage whatever he can before the new constitution can be written. Many of his die-hard supporters appear to not understand that they lost the fight.

    So now, back to Switzerland. We still do not have a declared winner in the snail-paced race between the two, but Chile just took a big step forward, and could even possibly overtake Switzerland after all.

  • 4. VIRick  |  June 1, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Piñera Addresses Marriage Equality Issue

    On Tuesday, 1 June 2021, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said that he would seek to expedite a same-sex marriage bill that has languished in the South American nation for years. Chile's LGBT community has long pushed for the legislation, but the country's ruling conservative coalition has until now been exceedingly slow to advance the bill in Congress.

    "I think the time for equal marriage has come in our country," Pinera said during his annual address to lawmakers. "All people, regardless of their sexual orientation, will be able to live, love, and form a family with all the protection and dignity they need and deserve."

    And hours later, "Matrimonio Igualitario" is still being totally overloaded with endless comments filled with shock and surprise over the abrupt political reversal with regard to marriage equality, even spilling over into comments being posted in foreign languages. Here's a quick re-cap of events in French:

    Per Nicolas Souveton:

    À la surprise générale, le président Piñera annonce qu’il va donner un caractère d’urgence au projet de mariage pour tous bloqué au parlement depuis des années. Cette position est diamétralement opposée à celle qu’il a exprimé à plusieurs occasions.

    To everyone's surprise, President Piñera announces that he will give urgency to the marriage-for-all project that has been blocked in parliament for years. This position is diametrically opposed to that which he has expressed on numerous past occasions.

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  June 1, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Christian Billionaires Are Funding a Push to Kill the Equality Act

    The Equality Act, which would make it illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in most settings, is supported by more than two-thirds of Americans. It passed the House of Representatives in February with a bipartisan majority, and Biden has promised to sign the final bill. But instead of becoming law more than four decades after it was first introduced, it’s falling victim to what one LGBTQ movement leader called one of “the most sophisticated dark money operations” they’ve ever seen.

    The source of much of that money, according to a review of tax filings by allied non-profits and some accidental public disclosures provided to The Daily Beast, is the National Christian Charitable Foundation (NCF), the nation’s sixth-largest charity and one of the biggest bankrollers of organizations currently on the front lines in the fight against the Equality Act. The NCF’s list of high-dollar donors includes some of the country’s richest and most powerful families. Among them: Betsy DeVos’ eponymous family foundation, as well as the private foundations of the Anschutz oil dynasty, the late Republican megadonor Foster Friess, Hobby Lobby, and Dan Cathy, the billionaire owner of Chick-fil-A, the six-days-a-week fast-food chain, which promised to stop donating to anti-LGBT causes last year.

  • 6. Elihu_Bystander  |  June 2, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Very sad, but what should we expect from the usual suspects.

    I don't understand how anyone who calls themselves Christian can ignore Jesus' teaching in Matthew 25 about how to treat others. This teaching is so important that the author repeats the list four times in telling the story.

  • 7. VIRick  |  June 2, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Connecticut: Governor Signs Automatic Two-Parent Recognition Bill into Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Connecticut opened Pride Month on Tuesday, 1 June 2021, with a ceremonial signing by Gov. Ned Lamont of the Connecticut Parentage Act, a bipartisan bill that provides equal treatment under the law to children born to same-sex couples. However, more than offering legal certainty to LGBTQ parents and children, the new law also modernizes outdated definitions and legal provisions pertaining to paternity and maternity, and recognizes the changing medical, legal, and cultural realities of what it means to be a parent.

    Whether straight or gay, the rights of a non-biological parent in a couple that uses surrogacy or other means of assisted reproduction to have a child are clarified in the new law, as are the rights of a surrogate who carries a child to birth under contract. Without said law, the legal work-around for non-biological parents has been a so-called “second-parent adoption,” a cumbersome process that same-sex parents say was demeaning and that should have been unnecessary.

    The bill, HB 6321, passed unanimously in the Senate and by a vote of 141-1 in the House, with Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Granby, casting the only negative vote. It ends Connecticut’s status as the only New England state without a parentage act. Previously, the state’s assorted parentage laws were deemed to be unconstitutional and were among the most outdated in the USA. Now, Connecticut has perhaps the most comprehensive, most inclusive, most child-centered gender-neutral parentage law in the entire country.

    Connecticut was an early adopter of gay rights, beginning with limited protections in housing and employment in 1991 under Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., an independent. In 2005, the legislature passed a same-sex civil unions bill, signed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican. The state Supreme Court then legalized same-sex marriage in 2008.

  • 8. VIRick  |  June 2, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Perú: This Was the Reception for Keiko in Arequipa

    Perú: Así Fue el Recibimiento a Keiko en Arequipa

    Per Benjamin Norton:

    Mere days before the presidential (run-off) election in Perú, slated for Sunday, 6 June, far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori (daughter of the jailed ex-dictator, Alberto Fujimori) was pelted with garbage as she rode through Arequipa, the biggest city in Perú after its capital, Lima.

    Polls show socialist Pedro Castillo dominating outside of elite Lima neighborhoods.

    You can watch all the flying garbage coming from every direction here:

  • 9. VIRick  |  June 2, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    DC Bill to Ban Anti-LGBT "Panic" Defense Has Become Law

    A bill approved by the DC Council in December 2020 to ban the anti-LGBTQ "panic" defense in criminal trials officially took effect as DC law from 15 May 2021, according to a 28 May posting on the Council’s website page that tracks legislation.

    The Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020 became stalled in early February when the fence erected around the US Capitol following the 6 January Capitol riots prevented the bill from being hand-delivered to Congress for its mandatory 60-day legislative review period.

    The Evangelista-Hunter Law also further strengthens DC's existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime, such as assault, murder, or threats, in order to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

  • 10. VIRick  |  June 3, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Florida: Gov. DeSantis Vetoes All LGBT Funding in State Budget

    After kicking off Pride Month by signing transphobic legislation, just one day later, on 2 June 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis line-item-vetoed all LGBTQ programs and projects from the state budget.

    That included $150,000 for the LGBT Center Orlando. The money was earmarked for the Orlando United Assistance Center, which provides mental health services for survivors of the 2016 mass shooting at the city's Pulse nightclub.

  • 11. VIRick  |  June 3, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Cuba: Gay Couple in Havana Seeks to Adopt Two Children

    Una pareja gay en La Habana tuvo que encargarse de dos niños en medio de la epidemia y ahora quiere adoptar. José Carlos Peñalver y Samy Bermúdez se hicieron padres sin desearlo.

    (La madre de los niños partió de Cuba a principios de 2020 debido a circunstancias inexplicables antes de la pandemia de COVID, dejando a los niños con Samy, que es su tío. Un niño tiene actualmente 3 años, mientras que el otro está en la escuela primaria.)

    José Carlos se imagina con hijos en el futuro: “No quisiera adopción temporal. Una adopción permanente y de forma legal.”

    A gay couple in Havana found themselves in charge of two children in the middle of the pandemic and now wish to adopt. José Carlos Peñalver and Samy Bermúdez became parents without desiring it.

    (The children's mother departed Cuba in early 2020 due to unexplained circumstances just before the COVID outbreak, leaving the children with Samy who is their uncle. One child is now 3 years old, while the other is in primary school.)

    José Carlos imagines himself with children in the future: “I would not want foster care. A permanent and legal adoption."

  • 12. VIRick  |  June 3, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Chile: Hold Onto Your Hat, and Hold Your Breath; Marriage Equality Is Coming

    Since President Piñera's speech in favor of marriage equality, while requesting "urgency" in its passage (and thus indicating that he will sign said legislation into law), one main political party in his Chile Vamos governing coalition, Renovación Nacional (RN), has switched sides in the fight and joined the leftist/progressive opposition to form a de facto majority on this matter, leaving the ultra right-wing, Evangelical-based UDI (referred to as the "udiotas," a play on "idiotas") as a distinct, but noisy minority.

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Already, on 2 June 2021, one day following his speech, the bill to remove "homosexual conduct" as a grounds for divorce passed through the Senate, and now heads to Chamber of Deputies for approval.

    Senators are now pushing for the LGBT adoption bill (la Ley de Adopciones) to be considered in tandem with the marriage equality bill in the Senate.

    And here we go. This report claims that the presidential "utmost urgency" means that the marriage equality bill will be finished in Congress 15 days from now.

  • 13. VIRick  |  June 3, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    San Marino: Marriage Equality Bill Awaits Final Approval

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The San Marino bill that will equate civil unions with marriage in all aspects of law including, possibly, adoption (Progetto di legge "Modifiche normative per il coordinamento della Legge 20 novembre 2018 n.147 – Regolamentazione delle unioni civile"), advanced through committee in May, and now awaits its final reading in the General Council (In attesa di esame in seconda lettura da parte del Consiglio Grande e Generale).

    An earlier proposal stated "in all aspects except adoption." If the current measure does indeed say "in all aspects of law," then adoption has subsequently been successfully added.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  June 3, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    The U.S. embassy at the Vatican is flying the Pride flag & the right is flipping out

    Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) is particularly incensed. His sister is a lesbian.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  June 5, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Pentagon to keep ban on Pride, most other flags from being flown on military installations

    Following a review, Pentagon officials decided to keep the policy in place as rescinding it might create “other challenges” to the rule, Kirby said.

    He added that the decision in “no way reflects any lack of respect or admiration for people [from] the LGBTQ+ community, the personnel in and out of uniform who serve in this department.”

    “We are proud of them,” Kirby said.

    The Pentagon policy only allows POW/MIA flags, U.S. state flags, flags of military units and those of allied countries.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  June 5, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Pride Month meets Wall Street as new LGBTQ ETF hits the market

    In an interview with CNBC’s “ETF Edge”, ETF Trends CEO Tom Lydon gave his outlook on the fund. “You’ve got a real strong group of advocates for this, for the right time, and I think those things are going to be key and critical to what’s going on in the future,” he said Wednesday, pointing to supporters of the fund such as former congressman Barney Frank, and Martina Navratilova, a former professional tennis player and a known advocate for transgender and gay rights.

    The man behind the fund, Procure Holdings co-founder Bob Tull, shared his insider perspective on the fund during the same interview. He explained the unique approach used to select the securities within the fund, which separates it from traditional funds that use quantitative analytics alone. “The structure started out with over a thousand securities and then the first thing we did was screen them for inclusion and ESG using the UN standards,” he said. “The members of the community are very loyal and so there’s a sentiment component to this index.”

    In the same “ETF Edge” interview, Andrew McOrmond, managing director at WallachBeth Capital, said it comes down to this new wave of investors. He says the new investor is younger and emphasizes the intersection between social governance goals and investing. These young people are also climbing the ranks in these top companies. “If these companies are supporting no exclusion and a diverse workplace, they’re going to attract top talent,” he said. “Top talent means the company performs better.”

    It’s a positive feedback loop. As young talent join companies that bolster ESG values, those companies perform better, and as a result, their stock price rises in the long-term. “I think that’s the underlying thing that’s going to drive this thing in the long term,” McOrmond said.

  • 17. VIRick  |  June 5, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Switzerland: Date for Marriage Equality Referendum Is 26 September 2021

    Per André Simonazzi, Swiss Government Spokesperson:

    Deux objets seront soumis à la votation populaire du 26 septembre 2021:
    ➡Initiative populaire alléger les impôts sur les salaires, imposer équitablement le capital.
    ➡ Modification du code civil suisse, mariage-pour-tous.

    Two items will be submitted to popular vote on 26 September 2021:
    ➡Popular initiative to reduce taxes on wages, tax capital equitably.
    ➡ Modification of the Swiss civil code, marriage-for-all.

  • 18. VIRick  |  June 6, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Portugal: 11th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Igualdad LGBT:

    5 de junio de 2010, Portugal aprueba el matrimonio igualitario.

    On 5 June 2010, Portugal approved marriage equality.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  June 6, 2021 at 9:52 am

    LGBTQ groups, supporters rally in Tokyo, demand equal rights

    Japanese sexual minority groups and their supporters staged a rally outside Tokyo’s iconic Shibuya Station on Sunday calling for equal rights and public support for enacting a long-sought equality law before the Olympics, despite fading hopes due to the governing party’s resistance.

    Around 100 people wearing rainbow facemasks danced and held banners with slogans in Japanese and English, such as “Equality Now!” “Legalize!” and “Equality Act during the current Parliament!”

    Support and awareness of sexual diversity has slowly grown in Japan, but there’s still a lack of legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Japan does not legally recognize same-sex partnerships, and LGBTQ people often suffer discrimination at school, work and even at home, causing many to hide their sexual identities.

    Rights groups are pushing for the passage of an equality act as international attention falls on Tokyo as it hosts the Olympics, set to begin July 23. The International Olympic Committee also has issued a statement stressing the importance of inclusivity in sports.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  June 6, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Trumpanzee Arrests Approach 500; Alabama Woman Stephanie Baez, Who Said “I love the Proud Boys. I wanna find me a Proud Boy,” Joins The Jailbirds

    Stephanie Baez, a woman who was recorded saying on Jan. 6 that she wanted to “find me a Proud Boy,” referring to the white supremacy group, has been arrested in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that day.

    She boasted on Instagram that she was “inside” the Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6, according to the complaint. Less than an hour later, she told another Instagram user that she was “ok” but “I got a bit of tear gas.”

    To date, the Department of Justice has arrested more than 465 people in connection with the Capitol riot.

  • 21. VIRick  |  June 6, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Texas: First Out Black Man in State History to Win Election Anywhere in Texas

    Jalen McKee-Rodriguez is being named the winner of the runoff election of 5 June 2021 for the District 2 city council seat in San Antonio TX. With his 2,961 votes to her 1,731, he has what is considered to be an insurmountable lead over Jada Andrews-Sullivan, the incumbent city councilwoman for whom he formerly worked.

    According to the Victory Fund, which has declared him the winner, McKee-Rodriguez is the first out Black man to win election to any office anywhere in the state of Texas in its entire history.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  June 6, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    No, Uganda is not making it illegal to be gay (again)

    Two years after our legal victory against the “Kill the gays bill”, the Ugandan electorate had rewarded me for my efforts by turfing me out of parliament at the 2016 general election. This year, they turfed me back in by a landslide. Among those rejected at the polls this year was the MP whose anti-gay private members bill brought this issue back to parliament. Another was our country’s opposition leader, Bob Wine, who began his political career in 2014 singing pop songs about burning homosexuals. He was defeated this January by a margin of nearly 2.5 million votes.

  • 23. VIRick  |  June 7, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    India: Madras High Court Issues Guidelines against Police Harassment for LGBTQIA Members

    On 7 June 2021, in a significant judgment in "S. Sushama and another v. Commissioner of Police and others," upholding the rights of members of the LGBTQIA community, the Madras High Court has issued a slew of guidelines to ensure that they are not harassed by police in responding to "missing" complaints lodged against them by their parents.

    While considering a writ petition filed by two lesbian women against police harassment, a single bench of Justice Anand Venkatesh noted that a societal change is needed in the approach towards LGBTQIA relationships. The hostilities they face are due to the fact that their relationships do not enjoy societal sanction.

    The full judgment, with a lengthly, complex list of non-discriminatory guidelines in a very broad, favorable ruling is here:

  • 24. VIRick  |  June 7, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Guatemala: US VP Harris Meets with LGBT Civil Society Reps in Guatemala

    On Monday 7 June 2021, two members of Guatemalan civil society who work with the LGBTQ community and with people living with HIV/AIDS participated in a round-table with US Vice-President Kamala Harris on the first overseas trip of the new administration. She met with President Alejandro Giammattei a couple of hours before the round-table, and will travel to Mexico City before she returns to DC.

    Visibles Executive Director Daniel Villatoro and Ingrid Gamboa of the Association of Garifuna Women Living with HIV/AIDS were among the 18 members of Guatemalan civil society who participated in the round-table that took place at a Guatemala City university. Rigoberta Menchú, an indigenous human rights activist and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was also among those who took part.

    Harris has previously acknowledged that violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity is among the “root causes” of migration from Guatemala and other Central American countries. State Department spokesperson Ned Price last month noted to the "Washington Blade" during an interview ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) that protecting LGBTQ migrants and asylum seekers is one of the Biden administration’s global LGBTQ rights priorities.

    The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, as well as US Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged Harris to raise the issue of anti-LGBTQ violence in Central America during her trip,– and she did!

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  June 7, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Burger King takes aim at Chick-fil-A with plans to donate to LGBTQ group for every chicken sandwich sold

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