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6/21 news round-up and open thread


– The DOJ has filed statements of interest in two cases involving young people who are transgender: the issues are healthcare and student sports.

– The Biden administration is making gender-related surgery available to trans vets through the Veterans’ Administration.

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


  • 1. VIRick  |  June 22, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Canada: Bill to Ban Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy" Passes in House of Commons

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 22 June 2021, C-6, the Bill banning anti-LGBT "conversion therapy" and sponsored by the Minister of Justice, passed in the House of Commons by a vote of 263 in favor to 63 against. The measure now heads to the Senate.

  • 2. VIRick  |  June 22, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Tabasco: Cunduacán Registers its First Same-Sex Marriage

    Per "El Heraldo de Tabasco" de 22 de abril 2021:

    Tabasco: Registra Cunduacán su Primer Boda Igualitaria

    Celebra Cunduacán su primer matrimonio igualitario por la vía civil. El acontecimiento fue efectuado el pasado 17 de abril, donde Gilberto Bel García y Daniel Hernández se unieron en matrimonio, tras promover un amparo ante la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación.

    La pareja señaló que el contraer nupcias fue todo un logro para ellos, debido a que la legislación estatal prohíbe, por lo que tuvieron que hacer uso de recursos legales para conseguirlo. Emprendieron una batalla legal contratando un abogado, quien consiguió el amparo, por lo que a las autoridades municipales no les quedó más que acatar el resolutivo.

    Cunduacán celebrates its first equal civil marriage. The event took place on 17 April 2021, when Gilberto Bel García and Daniel Hernández joined in marriage, after filing for an amparo before the Supreme Court of Mexico.

    The couple pointed out that marrying was a total achievement for them, given that state legislation prohibits it, so that they had to make use of legal resources in order to secure it. They waged a legal battle by hiring a lawyer, who obtained the amparo, so that with it the municipal authorities had no choice but to abide by the resolution.

    Cunduacán lies adjacent to Villahermosa on its western fringe, while also abutting the state of Chiapas. This couple could have crossed the river and married in Reforma, Chiapas, without the need to obtain an amparo, but chose, instead, to be married at home, before friends and family.

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 23, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Veracruz: Anglican Bishop in Favor of Gay Marriage

    Per "El Sol de Córdoba," datelined Xalapa:

    Veracruz: Obispo Anglicano, a Favor de Bodas Gay

    "Las autoridades religiosas debemos respetar el ámbito civil y no presionar a las autoridades a coartar derechos," expresó Julio César Martín, obispo de la Diócesis Anglicana del Sureste (de México), con respecto a la comunidad de la diversidad sexual.

    En entrevista, llamó a las autoridades del estado a implementar la resolución de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación y legalizar el matrimonio igualitario. También indicó que ningún grupo religioso tiene derecho de imponer su moral al resto de la sociedad.

    "The religious authorities must respect the civil sphere and not pressure the authorities to restrict rights," said Julio César Martín, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Southeast (of México), with respect to the sexual diversity community.

    In an interview, he called on the state authorities to implement the resolution of the Supreme Court of México and to legalize marriage equality. He also indicated that no religious group has the right to impose its morals on the rest of society.

    All Pride photos accompanying this news article were provided by the bishop himself.

  • 4. VIRick  |  June 23, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Nuevo León: Bill Introduced to Approve Marriage Equality

    Per Walter Elizondo:

    Hoy, el 23 de junio 2021, presentan iniciativa de reforma al Código Civil a aprobar matrimonio igualitario en Nuevo León.

    Today, 23 June 2021, a reform initiative to the Civil Code to approve marriage equality in Nuevo León was presented.

    Due to a 2019 Supreme Court ruling on an "Action of Unconstitutionality," Nuevo León has already achieved marriage equality. However, state law has yet to be up-dated to be in accord with said ruling.

  • 5. VIRick  |  June 23, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Cuba: The Path Forward for Marriage Equality

    DemoAmlat presentó el informe más reciente de su Observatorio Legislativo de Cuba. El tema principal es el camino hacia la modificación del Código de Familias y la posibilidad de incluir en su redacción el matrimonio igualitario.

    Descárgalo aquí:

    DemoAmlat has presented the most recent report of its Legislative Observatory of Cuba. The main issue is the path toward modifying the Family Code and the possibility of including marriage equality in its drafting.

    Download it here:

  • 6. VIRick  |  June 23, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Louisiana: Governor Vetoes Anti-Transgender Sports Bill

    On Tuesday, 22 June 2021, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) announced that he has vetoed a measure that would have barred transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools.

    The measure, Senate Bill 156, authored by Sen. Beth Mizell (R) and titled the "Fairness in Women’s Sports Act," in the Governor’s eyes, “was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” as per his veto statement.

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  June 23, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Trumpanzees arrested, School Board meeting cut short: Parents panic over new transgender restroom rules in Virginia

    Loudoun County residents arrived early to pack the auditorium as 259 residents signed up to speak during the public comment session before the debates became so heated that at least two men were eventually arrested.

    Parents debated a draft of the proposed 8040 policy on restrooms that reads that 'students should be allowed to use the facility that corresponds to their gender identity,' as school district leaders say they are moving to make schools more inclusive for transgender students.

  • 8. VIRick  |  June 23, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality in Senate Takes Another Step Forward

    Per Movilh Chile:

    Avanzamos: Comisión de Constitución del Senado rechaza indicaciones homófobas de Iván Moreira y mantiene 18 positivas, la filiación homoparental incluida, en el proyecto de matrimonio igualitario.

    We move forward: Senate Constitution Committee rejects four homophobic proposals by Iván Moreira and maintains 18 positive ones, including homoparental affiliation (automatic 2-parent recognition for children), in the marriage equality package.

    Per Pedro Araya Guerrero, Antofagasta, Member Senate Constitution Committee:

    Hoy, el 23 de junio 2021, aprobamos una serie de indicaciones sobre el matrimonio igualitario relativas al régimen patrimonial y respecto de la filiación de los hijos. Nos quedan dos indicaciones que serán votadas el próximo martes y con eso, podría ser despachado a la Sala del Senado de Chile.

    Today, 23 June 2021, we approved a series of proposals on marriage equality relative to the patrimonial regime and regarding the affiliation of children. We have two proposals that will be voted on next Tuesday and with that, it could all be sent to the Full Senate Chamber of Chile.

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  June 25, 2021 at 1:20 am

    Ukraine stands out as an example of progress in what is an increasingly homophobic neighborhood

    Emson’s testimony described the growth of Ukraine’s LGBTQI community through the expansion of the annual Kyiv Pride event, which has grown from a short walk of about 50 people on the outskirts of Kyiv in 2013 to a massive rally of over 10,000 people in central Kyiv in 2019. As Emson noted, “the story of our Pride marches is illustrative of the wider history of the LGBTQI movement in Ukraine. This striking difference in numbers within a span of just a few years demonstrates the remarkable progress our society has made.”

    Brave and committed activists in Ukraine lead the charge for equality. As Emson noted, they have been further aided by consistent support from the US in efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s civil society and promote police reform.

    One example of progress advanced by LGBTQI activists has come in relation to the Ukrainian trans community. Since December 2016, transgender Ukrainians no longer have to petition a board of mental health professionals or spend a month in a psychiatric ward before legally changing their gender.

    However, the situation remains far from satisfactory. Transexuality is still considered a mental disorder and still requires a “diagnosis” before the transition may begin.

    In some cases, regional and local Ukrainian courts have helped uphold the rights of LGBTQI people. In 2019, the Rivne City Council in western Ukraine tried to ban LGBTQI groups from publicly demonstrating, citing the need to prevent the spread of LGBTQI “propaganda.” While it took a year, the Rivne District Administrative Court later declared the ban illegal.

    The same happened with the Kyiv Regional Administrative Court in 2020. Despite some polling showing that only 14% of Ukrainian respondents think homosexuality should be accepted by society, the government and court systems have demonstrated a welcome readiness to uphold some LGTBI rights.

  • 10. VIRick  |  June 25, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Veracruz: Same-Sex Marriage Could Soon Be Approved

    Per "El Sol de Orizaba:"

    Veracruz: Bodas Gay Serían Aprobadas Pronto

    No se descarta la posible aprobación de una serie de reformas al Código Civil de Veracruz, que incluyen la legalización del matrimonio igualitario, dijo la presidenta de la Mesa Directiva del Congreso del Estado, Adriana Paola Linares Capitanachi, Poza Rica/Coatzintla (Morena). .

    Dijo que el tema de la aprobación de los matrimonios igualitarios en Veracruz aún se encuentra sobre la mesa. Ya se presentó una iniciativa al respecto, la cual fue sometida a debate en las comisiones respectivas. Linares Capitanachi insistió en que el Congreso del Estado de Veracruz podría debatir las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo antes de que se renueve.

    The possible approval of a series of reforms to the Civil Code of Veracruz, which includes the legalization of marriage equality, has not been ruled out, said the president of the Board of Directors of the State Congress, Adriana Paola Linares Capitanachi, Poza Rica/Coatzintla (Morena).

    She said that the issue of the approval of marriage equality in Veracruz is still on the table. An initiative in this regard has already been presented, which was submitted for debate in the respective committees. Linares Capitanachi insisted that the Veracruz State Congress could debate same-sex unions before the next congress.

  • 11. VIRick  |  June 25, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Edoméx: PRD Still Insisting on Passing Marriage Equality During Current Congress

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Edoméx: Insistirá PRD en Que se Aprueben Iniciativas Controvertidas

    El PRD en la legislatura mexiquense insistirá en que se desahoguen temas controvertidos que siguen en la "congeladora," como las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo y la despenalización del aborto, dijo el coordinador de los legisladores del PRD, Omar Ortega.

    Afirmó que estos temas fueron presentados desde que inició la actual legislatura, aunque a un par de meses de que concluya, darán el último jalón él y sus compañeras legisladoras, a fin de que logren ser desahogados.

    In the Edoméx legislature, PRD will insist on revisiting controversial issues that remain in the "freezer," such as same-sex unions and the decriminalization of abortion, said the co-ordinator of the PRD legislators, Omar Ortega.

    Still with several months before it concludes, he affirmed that these issues have been presented since the current legislature began, and that he and his fellow legislators will give a final push, with the aim that they can be discussed/approved.

  • 12. VIRick  |  June 25, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Yucatán: More than 200 Amparos Issued for Same-Sex Couples Wishing to Marry

    Per "Tribuna de Campeche:"

    Ante la negativa del Congreso de Yucatán de aprobar el matrimonio igualitario, más de 200 parejas han tenido que ampararse para casarse, cifra que ubica al estado en los primeros tres lugares en México, informó Amelia Ojeda Sosa, coordinadora jurídica de UNASSE, AC.

    Given the refusal of the Yucatán Congress to approve marriage equality, more than 200 couples have had to request an amparo in order to marry, a number that places the state within the top three locations in Mexico, reported Amelia Ojeda Sosa, legal co-ordinator of UNASSE, AC.

    In 2013, Amelia Ojeda accompanied the very first same-sex couple when presenting their amparo request before the federal court, and continues doing so to this day for other same-sex couples in Yucatán. (According to our count, "more than 200" is the highest number of amparos yet issued in any single state. Five should have been enough to have overturned the law, and thus, to have prompted the state congress to amend state law in order to remain in accord.)

    Notice, too, that this report on the years-long work of Amelia Ojeda was published in the leading newspaper of the neighboring state, Campeche, rather than in any publication in Yucatán itself.

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  June 25, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    ‘Pride is back at the White House’: Biden pushes for LGBTQ civil rights act

    Biden promoted his reversal of the Trump-era ban on transgender troops serving in the military, his executive actions meant to curb anti-LGBTQ discrimination, his advocacy for LGBTQ rights through international diplomacy, and his backing of the Equality Act — which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to provide protections for LGBTQ individuals.

    Among its many provisions, the Equality Act would help counteract what Biden described as a “disturbing proliferation of anti-LGBTQ bills” that are making their way through Republican-controlled state legislatures, including measures focused on transgender youth.

    “These are some of the ugliest, most un-American laws I’ve seen,” Biden said, referring to bills regulating medical care, bathroom use and participation on sports teams. He added: “Let’s be clear: This is nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation.”

  • 14. VIRick  |  June 25, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    Mendoza, Argentina: Same-Sex Couple Adopted Child with Leukemia Left in Hospital

    Mendoza, Argentina: Matrimonio Homoparental Adoptó a Niña con Leucemia Dejada en Hospital

    For good reason, this account, from Chile about Argentina, has also gone viral in Chile (while simultaneously showing just how much farther and how much faster Argentina has moved on LGBT rights):

    In 2012, a married same-sex couple, Daniel and Gastón Fernández, adopted three-year-old Bianca, a child with leukemia who had been abandoned at Hospital Notti in Mendoza, Argentina, the same hospital where Gastón was chief of residents. Upon application, the Adoption Registry in Mendoza quickly accepted the couple's adoption request almost in desperation.

    Now, more than 8 years later, following extensive chemo-therapy treatments at the same hospital, Bianca has fairly well recovered, and continues to live with her married same-sex adoptive parents in a loving environment.

    Mendoza, just over the Andes from Chile, lies at the center of wine country in Argentina, and straddles the main land route between Santiago and Buenos Aires. Over the years, many same-sex couples from Chile have married there.

  • 15. VIRick  |  June 25, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Mississippi: Rosedale City Council Passes LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Ordinance

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Late on Thursday, 17 June 2021, in an effort led by Mayor Aelicia Thomas, the Rosedale City Council passed a comprehensive LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance, making Rosedale the fifth city in Mississippi to pass citywide non-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public spaces. The other Mississippi cities with such ordinances are Jackson, Magnolia, Clarksdale, and Holly Springs.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  June 26, 2021 at 2:03 am

    President Biden Announces U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI Persons

    Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, is based in New York. Jessica specializes in gender, sexuality and human rights globally. At OutRight, she has supported the legal registration of LGBTIQ organizations globally, helped secure the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, expanded the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity, and co-founded the UN LGBTI Core Group. She has provided expert opinions to governments globally, regional human rights institutions, and UN mechanisms, including UN Women where she serves as a member of multiple leadership bodies. Her writing has been cited by the Indian Supreme Court in its seminal judgment decriminalizing same-sex relations and been featured in The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (2019). She is frequently quoted by the media, including by The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, BBC News, and The Guardian. She is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.

  • 17. VIRick  |  June 26, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    26 June: LGBT Rights Day at SCOTUS

    Per Adam Bonin:

    Today, 18 years ago, on 26 June 2003, SCOTUS ruled 6-3 that states could not criminalize same-sex sexual activity.

    Today, 8 years ago, on 26 June 2013, SCOTUS ruled 5-4 that the federal government must recognize states' same-sex marriages.

    Today, 6 years ago, on 26 June 2015, SCOTUS ruled 5-4 that all states must recognize marriage equality.

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  June 26, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Turkish police fire tear gas to disperse crowd at Istanbul Pride march, after it was banned over ‘public morality,’ COVID concerns

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  June 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Thousands take to the streets in Paris for the first Pride march since lockdown

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  June 26, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    A court in India has ordered state and federal officials to plan sweeping reforms to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ communities. But activists say a lot more needs to be done to achieve equality.

    The court's recommendations include prohibiting conversion therapy, promoting acceptance of diversity, and creating awareness programs for stakeholders such as the police, judiciary, educational institutions and health care workers.

    Judge Anand Venkatesh of the Madras court ordered state and federal government departments to report back with steps that they intend to take to comply.

    Medical practitioners who claim to be able to "cure" homosexuality should have their licenses revoked, the judge said. He also said schools and colleges should make gender neutral restrooms available, and gender-nonconforming or trans prisoners should be housed separately if needed to protect them from sexual assault.

    Teachers should reach out to parents, to help "sensitize parents on issues of LGBTQIA community and gender nonconforming students, to ensure supportive families," his order read.

    The court also asked the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry to publish a list of NGOs that have experience in dealing with issues faced by LGBTQ communities.

    Chandani, a 22-year-old student from Mumbai, identifies as bisexual and is an activist for LGBTQ rights. She told DW that, even though India overturned a colonial-era law that criminalizes consensual gay sex in 2017, many people are still grappling with LGBTQ rights, especially same-sex marriage.

    "We have a long road ahead of us. We are far from social acceptance, but the new generation is more aware. I came out of the closet and was accepted by my immediate family, but life is still difficult in India," Chandani said.

  • 21. VIRick  |  June 26, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    El Salvador: LGBTI Pride Month: The "Prohibited Wedding" of Valentina

    El Salvador: Mes del Orgullo LGBTI: La “Boda Prohibida” de Valentina

    Este reportaje fue publicado originalmente en el periódico "El País de España." El matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo no está legislado en El Salvador.

    This report was originally published in "El País de España." Marriage between same-sex couples has not been legislated in El Salvador.


    This is an extraordinary report on the LGBTI history of El Salvador, as well as on the current LGBTI situation in El Salvador, and provides said information on multiple levels. It not only gives a detailed history of the several attempts to legislate in favor of LGBT rights, of marriage equality, and of gender identity, but also goes on to document the various LGBTI court challenges and their current status.

    And then there is the splashy symbolic wedding of Valentina Vigil, a transgender woman, to Gabriel Juárez in El Carreto, a rural village in the department of San Miguel, in October 2020, some 20 years after another such documented wedding, that of Perla Lins Herrera to Cristian Vladimir Chirino in the municipality of San Juan Nonualco in the department of La Paz. Valentina's detailed biography alone is quite eye-opening.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  June 27, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    China blocks documentary re: SSM in Taiwan from Hong Kong's Film Festival

    Directed by Yan Zhexuan, 'Taiwan Equals Love' is the first documentary that discusses the issue of same-sex marriage after it became officially recognised in Taiwan in 2016.

    The film interviewed and documented the journey of three same-sex couples from the island as they faced resistance from the anti-LGBT communities while legislators worked to pass an act to legalise gay marriage.

    China, with the help of local authorities, has been ruling Hong Kong with an iron fist.

    Authorities have also begun clamping down on cultural expression. Initial steps have included the closing of exhibitions dealing with pro-democracy protests.

    Recently, coverage of this year's Oscars was also blocked — as was any news of Chinese-born Chloe Zhao, who won both best film and best director awards for "Nomadland," which was censored in China.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  June 27, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    LGBTQ troops and vets go to war against homophobia in Ukraine

    After coming out, Pylypenko felt empowered to approach dozens of gay, lesbian and transgender active-duty soldiers and veterans. In 2019, about 30 of them formed an advocacy group for LGBTQ service people and participated in Kyiv's March for Equality for the first time.

    Today, the group has more than 100 members — and it's growing. "In some units, they may talk about LGBTQ rights in the military on their smoke break," Pylypenko said. "Afterwards, somebody will Google our group and get in touch."

    Like other LGBTQ people, queer soldiers don't necessarily feel safe on the streets. Even though police have increased their presence at LGBTQ events since anti-gay assailants injured 10 people when they attacked the March for Equality in 2015, homophobic gangs often go on "safaris" in which "small groups chase LGBTQ activists — often those sporting brightly colored hair or rainbow symbols — through the city," Pylypenko said.

    The most powerful weapon LGTBQ soldiers have in their arsenal is public relations. Like other advocacy groups, they are fighting for civil partnerships, the same-sex marriage alternative found in many countries but still illegal in Ukraine.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  June 27, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    US State Dept flies Progress Pride Flag over its headquarters

    The US State Department officially raised a Pride flag for the first time over its headquarters on June 25. The flag chosen was a new yet popular rendition of the rainbow Pride flag, the Progress Pride flag, which the Department deemed as “a symbol of the diversity and intersectionality of LGBTQI persons and communities around the world.”

    Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, and the Jeff Anderson, the President of glifaa, which is the officially recognized affinity group for LGBTQ State Department employees, were all on hand and assisted raising the flag right underneath a larger American flag.

    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet, “I’m truly honored to serve as Secretary during this historic moment.”

    “Although many of our embassies and consulates have displayed the Pride and Progress flags overseas, today is the first time a flag recognizing the LGBTQI+ community will fly over State Department headquarters,” Sherman said in remarks delivered at the flag-raising ceremony in front of the headquarters, the Harry S. Truman building.

    This is the third time the Progress Pride flag has flown officially on federal government property this month. The Department of Energy’s secretary Jennifer Grisholm raised that flag above the agency’s headquarters earlier this month, and the Department of the Interior’s secretary Deb Haaland followed suit two weeks ago.

  • 25. VIRick  |  June 28, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    SCOTUS Refuses to Re-Hear "Grimm" Case in Appeal by Former School Board

    As announced by the Court on Monday, 29 June 2021, in the re-affirming LGBTQ rights win for the current year, the US Supreme Court has declined to re-hear the case of "Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board" (certiorari denied). Said decision upholds the lower courts' decisions supporting transgender and non-binary students’ rights to use bathrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

    Both the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia, where then-high schooler Gavin Grimm was a student, violated Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause by prohibiting Grimm from using the same facilities as the other boys at his school. The school made Grimm use separate restrooms.

    Grimm’s case originally made it to the Supreme Court in 2017, but at that time, the judges chose not to hear the case after the Trump administration withdrew the federal government’s support of Grimm’s case. The ACLU, whose lawyers represent Grimm, notes that since then, three federal appeals courts have ruled that similar restroom policies violate Title IX and the Constitution. Two more have rejected claims that such restroom policies in favor of trans students infringe on other students’ privacy.

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