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7/5 open thread and some news

Community/Meta Discrimination

– The Supreme Court last week denied review in the Arlene’s Flowers case. The case involves a florist who refused to make flower arrangements for a same-sex couple. The Court’s denial means the lower court’s ruling against the florist stands.

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


  • 1. VIRick  |  July 5, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Querétaro Once Again Allows Marriage Equality

    Per "ADN Informativo Querétaro:"

    Aún sin reformas (estatal), el Registro Civil de Querétaro ya permite el matrimonio igualitario. El representante de COIVIHS, Luis Felipe Zamudio, destacó que desde hace dos meses (desde del mayo de 2021) las personas del mismo sexo pueden acceder a este servicio (otra vez más).….

    Still without (state) reforms, the Civil Registry of Querétaro already allows marriage equality. The representative of COIVIHS, Luis Felipe Zamudio, stressed that from two months ago (since May 2021), same-sex couples can (once again) access this service.

    Ever since the Supreme Court issued its jurisprudence on marriage equality in 2015, there has been an open fight in Querétaro over its interpretation. Originally, beginning from June 2015, the Civil Registry officials in the state capital, Santiago de Querétaro, (one of the very first municipalities in Mexico to exclusively follow Supreme Court jurisprudence, rather than state law), along with almost half of the remaining municipalities in the state, said "Yes" to marriage equality. Four years later, in 2019, a new state governor said "No." During this extended fight, the state congress has done nothing. But once again, after a series of successful lawsuits seeking reparations (damages) from the state congress for their inaction, the municipal Civil Registry officials in the state capital have prevailed, and at least 5 same-sex couples have been married there since the resumption in May 2021.

  • 2. scream4ever  |  July 13, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    The Wikipedia page should update Queretaro to solid blue.

  • 3. VIRick  |  July 13, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Someone has already up-dated the Wikipedia text (albeit with several errors), but have not done anything to up-date any of the maps. Currently, with corrections added, the entry reads:

    . . . until (not "under") a new state governor overrode them in 2019. Since May 2021 (not "2020"), State Civil Registry officials in the state capital have once again begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples (rather than "issued same-sex marriage licenses").[2]

    The chart at the bottom of this same page entry also needs up-dating to reflect "0" marriages between same-sex couples in 2020, and at least "5" so far in 2021:

    As for the map of Mexico, Querétaro has been forced to resume marriages between same-sex couples due to appeals court-level damage rulings. There is still no state-level legislation. Thus, Querétaro should be striped. Given the two choices, I would stripe it to match with Chihuahua, rather than stripe it to match with the 4 states required to marry same-sex couples due to Supreme Court rulings from "Actions of Unconstitutionality." Or alternatively, just leave it alone, as it is already showing as striped (due solely to its adherence to Supreme Court jurisprudence).

    The solid blue color is reserved for those states that have passed the necessary marriage equality enabling legislation.

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 5, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Quintana Roo: Same-Sex Marriage Statistics, 2019-2021

    Las parejas conformadas por mujeres son las que más contraen matrimonio en el rubro de uniones entre personas del mismo sexo en Quintana Roo. Según la Dirección del Registro Civil del gobierno del estado, en lo que va de este 2021, han oficializado su enlace 87 parejas de varones (46 por ciento) y 102 de mujeres (54 por ciento). La ley permite, además, que las mujeres reconozcan legalmente a los hijos de sus parejas como propios.

    La Directora General del Registro Civil, Heydi Patricia Torres Carrillo, recordó que en 2019 sumaron 277 enlaces matrimoniales entre personas del mismo sexo, de los cuales 139 fueron hombres y 138 mujeres, mientras que en 2020, fueron 210 matrimonios, 107 de hombres y 103 de mujeres.

    Female couples are the ones that most marry when it comes to unions between same -sex couples in Quintana Roo. According to the Civil Registry Directorate of the state government, so far for 2021, 87 male couples (46 percent) and 102 female couples (54 percent) have formalized their unions. In addition, the law allows women to legally recognize the children of their spouses as their own.

    The General Director of the Civil Registry, Heydi Patricia Torres Carrillo, recalled that in 2019 it totaled to 277 marriages between same-sex couples, of which 139 were between men and 138 between women, while in 2020, there were 210 marriages, 107 of men and 103 of women.

    Because Quintana Roo has developed itself into a major marriage destination, many couples intending to marry, whether hetero or same-sex, fly into the state from all over Mexico, and from many other near-by foreign countries, on special marriage/honeymoon packages. Thus, the quoted statistics really ought to be broken down into 3 separate groups: Quintana Roo residents, residents of other Mexican states, and foreign visitors.

  • 5. VIRick  |  July 5, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    Dominican Republic: LGBT Protests Continue in Front of National Congress

    These LGBT protests and demonstrations in the Dominican Republic are unprecedented.

    Per Yimbert Feliz Telemin:

    Los LGBT, este lunes (el 5 de julio 2021), volvimos nuevamente al Congreso Nacional a exigir que el nuevo Código Penal que envía a discriminar a los LGBT sea reformado en el Senado.

    This Monday (5 July 2021), we LGBT returned to the National Congress to demand that the new Penal Code that intends to discriminate against LGBTs be reformed in the Senate.

    Per lorespe2002:

    Las personas LGBTQI rechazan el proyecto de Código Penal, aprobado en segunda lectura por la Cámara de Diputados, por incluir párrafos en varios Artículos que permiten la discriminación.

    LGBTQI people reject the draft Penal Code, approved in the second reading of the Chamber of Deputies, for including paragraphs in various Articles permitting discrimination.

  • 6. VIRick  |  July 6, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Chile: Senate Finance Committee Approves Marriage Equality, Sends Bill to Full Senate

    Per Movilh Chile:

    El 6 de julio 2021, por 3 votos a favor y 2 en contra, la Comisión de Hacienda del Senado aprueba el matrimonio igualitario y lo despacha a Sala para su próxima votación.

    On 6 July 2021, by 3 votes in favor and 2 against, the Senate Finance Committee approves marriage equality and dispatches it to the Full Senate for its next vote.

  • 7. VIRick  |  July 6, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Sinaloa: Same-Sex Marriages Can Now Take Place Statewide

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Sinaloa Civil Registry announces that LGBT marriages can now be conducted statewide, following the passage of the marriage equality law and the updating of the registry process.

    Per Comité De La Diversidad Sinaloa:

    Registro Civil: Matrimonios igualitarios en Sinaloa se pueden llevar acabo "desde ya," el 6 de julio 2021.

    Civil Registry: Same-sex marriages in Sinaloa can take place "from now," 6 July 2021.

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  July 6, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    LGBTQ Social Media Groups at Most Major Chinese Universities Shuttered Overnight

    Many campus LGBTQ clubs have never been officially recognized or condoned, but have been able to operate unofficially for years under the radar, posting content online and carrying out certain activities when possible amidst periodic crackdowns.

    Late Tuesday evening, however, users unexpectedly found that the social media accounts for most such groups and even gender-related academic research associations had been wiped from the web.

    They now all display the message: “In response to related complaints, all content has been blocked for violating the ‘Regulations on the Management of Internet User Official Account Information Services,’ and all usage of the account has been suspended.”

    Those now deleted include: Tsinghua University’s unofficial LGBTQ club Purple, Peking University’s unofficial LGBTQ club Colorsworld; Fudan University’s Zhiheshe; Wuhan University’s Gender Equality Research Association; Nanjing University’s Same Sky Association for Gender Equality; Xi’An Academy of Fine Art’s Olive Tree Group; Renmin University of China’s Sex and Gender Research Society, and similar research-oriented groups at Huazhong University of Science and Technology and East China Normal University, among numerous others located across China.

    “I can’t accept these accounts being disappeared like this – they helped so many people like me,” one WeChat commenter blogging about the incident wrote. “This clean-up action is tantamount to outright discrimination and persecution of China’s sexual minorities.”

  • 9. VIRick  |  July 7, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Argentina: President Promulgates Law Reserving 1% of State Jobs for Trans Individuals

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Hoy, el 7 de julio 2021, el Presidente de Argentina, Alberto Fernández, promulga la Ley 27.636 (la Ley Nacional de Cupo Laboral Trans) que reserva 1% del empleo estatal a personas trans.

    Today, 7 July 2021, the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, promulgated Law 27.636 (National Law for Trans Labor Quota) that reserves 1% of state employment for transgender individuals.

    As of today, Argentina now matches Uruguay on this state employment guarantee. No other nation in the world is even considering to do the same, thus placing these two neighboring South American countries on the very cutting edge of transgender rights, just as they were in their early approval of marriage equality legislation.

  • 10. VIRick  |  July 7, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Kansas: Wichita City Council Passes Broad LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 6 July 2021, the Wichita City Council passed an ordinance that is designed to prevent discrimination within the city limits on the basis of “age, color, disability, familial status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin or ancestry, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other factor protected by law.” The ordinance bans discrimination in employment, in housing, and by businesses that serve the general public.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  July 7, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    God that Jodie Hodges is a major cunt.

  • 12. VIRick  |  July 7, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    That reminds me of the Australian tourism promo for the Northern Territory:

    "C U" in the "N T"

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  July 8, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Excellent transcript of the event here:

  • 14. VIRick  |  July 7, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    California: State-Voided 2004 Same-Sex Marriage Recognized in Divorce Proceedings

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A San Francisco Superior Court judge found that one of the parties to a 2004 marriage between two lesbians that had been declared null and void by the state nonetheless qualifies as a "putative" spouse. The tentative decision in "Hernandez v. King," made on 25 June 2021 by Judge Victor M. Hwang, holds that because Cynthia Hernandez "had a good faith subjective belief that her marriage was valid" from 2004 to 2020, she qualifies as a putative spouse.

    In its 2004 decision in the case of "Lockyer v. San Francisco," the California Supreme Court ruled that the city lacked the authority to issue the marriage licenses to people of the same sex and ordered the city to notify all those who'd been given marriage licenses that their marriages "were void from their inception and legally null."

    Same-sex marriage briefly became legal in California in 2008, and again permanently in 2013, after the US Supreme Court decided that proponents of Proposition 8, the state's same-sex marriage ban, did not have standing after a federal judge ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional. Same-sex marriage became legal nationwide in 2015, with the US Supreme Court decision in "Obergefell v. Hodges."

    These subsequent events did not have a retroactive effect on the marriages declared null by the "Lockyer" decision, but which Hwang's decision affirmed, ruling that "there is nothing in the evidence to prove that the parties knew that they would have had to re-marry after 'Obergefell' in order for them to stay married."

  • 15. VIRick  |  July 7, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Durango: Marriage Equality Legislation Delayed until Next Congress

    Today, 7 July 2021, on the first day of the extraordinary session of the Durango Congress, the Permanent Committee (the steering committee that sets the agenda) voted against sending the draft bill pertaining to marriage equality to the full congress for a vote, thus delaying its consideration until the next congress.

    Mario Delgado Mendoza (PT) en contra
    María Elena González (PAN) en contra
    Francisco Ibarra Jáquez (PRI) en contra
    Nancy Vázquez (Morena) a favor
    Pablo César Aguilar (Morena) a favor

    However, the next Durango Congress will have a PAN majority.

    Thus, knowing this, a number of same-sex couples from Ciudad Victoria de Durango, the state capital and largest city, already tired of waiting, now intend to travel over the cordillera on El Super (Mx-40) and marry in neighboring Mazatlán, where Sinaloa Civil Registry officials will be happy to oblige (given that most of their own potential local same-sex couples, in turn, already married some years ago in Nayarit, including the Sinaloa couple who famously married while standing on the Sinaloa-Nayarit state line).

    At the same time, same-sex couples resident in Gómez Palacio, the state's second-most-populous municipality, will continue to cross the bridge into its twin city, Torreón, in Coahuila state, to marry there.

  • 16. VIRick  |  July 7, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Sonora: Transgender Woman Legally Marries Husband, a Unique New First in Mexico

    This marriage is a new first in Mexico, and is due to the fact that Sonora is unique, having already passed a Gender Identity Law, while not yet having legalized marriage equality. So far, it is the only state in Mexico to have done it this way.

    All other jurisdictions in Mexico have either passed both (15), or neither (10), or to date, have opted to only pass marriage equality (6). These latter 6 with marriage equality but without gender identity are: Campeche, Morelos, Chiapas, Nuevo León, Aguascalientes, and Sinaloa, the latter 4 all being forced through by court rulings.

    El 7 de julio 2021, a la Oficialía Primera del Registro Civil en Hermosillo, Sol Sasturay se convierte en la primera mujer trans en contraer matrimonio sin necesidad de amparo, gracias a la rectificación de identidad de género vigente en el Estado de Sonora, con su nuevo esposo Jesús Velarde.

    On 7 July 2021, at the First Civil Registry Office in Hermosillo, Sol Sasturay became the first transgender woman to contract marriage without the need of an amparo, thanks to the gender identity law in force in the State of Sonora, with her new husband Jesús Velarde.

    As an ex-resident of Hermosillo, Sonora, in my wildest imaginings, I never thought that it would ever be possible to say that Hermosillo, Sonora, is unique. But we just did.

  • 17. VIRick  |  July 8, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Baja California: Tecate City Council Votes in Favor of Marriage Equality

    Per Maky Pollorena:

    El 8 de julio 2021, se aprobó el matrimonio igualitario en Tecate, 7 votos a favor y 5 en contra.

    On 8 July 2021, marriage equality was approved in Tecate, 7 votes in favor to 5 against.

    Cabildo de Tijuana aún no vota reforma sobre el matrimonio igualitario.

    Tijuana City Council still did not vote on the marriage equality reform.

    In Baja California, in order to remove the current ban on same-sex marriage from the state constitution, and to replace it with marriage equality, a majority of the municipal councils in the state must vote in favor. These councils have one more week (through 16 July 2021) to do so. By default, any municipal council that fails to take up a vote, neither voting in favor nor against, will be registered as having voted in favor.

  • 18. VIRick  |  July 8, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Bolivia: Lesbian Couple Denied Registration of Civil Union (Unión Libre)

    The National Civic Registry of Bolivia (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) has discriminated against a lesbian couple by rejecting their application to register their relationship as a civil union (unión libre), Human Rights Watch said today, 8 July 2021. Upon request, all civic registries in the country should start legally recognizing same-sex relationships as such.

    The lesbian couple, foreign citizens who legally reside in Bolivia, applied to the La Paz civic registry in May 2021 to register a civil union, their lawyers told Human Rights Watch. In a June 2021 letter to those lawyers, the civic registry asserted that there is no current procedure to register same-sex unions in the country.

    The couple has begun administrative proceedings to appeal the decision, as said letter ignores the fact that the civic registry recognized the civil union (unión libre) of David Aruquipa and Guido Montaño, a gay couple, in December 2020, based on a court order. The civic registry seemingly claims it needs to wait until the Plurinational Constitutional Court of Bolivia (Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional de Bolivia) reviews the lower court ruling ordering Aruquipa and Montaño’s registration.

  • 19. VIRick  |  July 9, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Sinaloa: First Same-Sex Couple to Have Married in Culiacán

    Janeth Guadalupe Corral Tapia de 38 años de edad y María de Jesús Cabanillas González de 28 años se casaron la mañana de este viernes, el 9 de julio 2021, ante el Registro Civil. Ellas son la primera pareja LGBT en contraer matrimonio en Culiacán, esto después de que fue aprobada la Ley del Matrimonio Igualitario en el Congreso del Estado de Sinaloa el pasado 15 de junio.

    En entrevista, Janeth Corral Tapia celebró que ya sea una realidad el matrimonio igualitario en Sinaloa, porque de esa manera, no tuvieron que viajar hasta Guadalajara para poder casarse, tal y como lo estaban contemplando.

    Janeth Guadalupe Corral Tapia, 38 years old, and María de Jesús Cabanillas González, 28, were married this Friday morning, 9 July 2021, before the Civil Registry. They are the first LGBT couple to marry in Culiacán, this after the Marriage Equality Law was approved by the Sinaloa State Congress on 15 June 2021.

    In an interview, Janeth Corral Tapia celebrated the fact that marriage equality is already a reality in Sinaloa, because given that, they did not have to travel to Guadalajara in order to be able to marry, which is what they had been contemplating.

  • 20. VIRick  |  July 9, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    Edomex: State Congress Accepts Marriage Equality Initiative from LGBTQ Militant

    Per Daniel Valtierra:

    Después de más de 7 meses, el 8 de julio 2021, la Diputación Permanente (del Congreso de Edomex) acordó remitir a comisiones la iniciativa que presenté por el matrimonio igualitario en el Estado de México.

    After more than 7 months, on 8 July 2021, the Permanent Steering Committee (of the Edomex Congress) agreed to refer the initiative that I presented for marriage equality in the State of Mexico to committee.

    Daniel Valtierra is a militant LGBTQ/Morena activist from Ecatepec, Edomex.

  • 21. VIRick  |  July 9, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Durango: The Noxious, Notorious, Virulent "Lady Matrix"

    Let us present the "Homophobe of the Year" award to "Lady Matrix," a ranting, "pro-vida" nut-job, recorded performing her non-stop, hyper-animated diatribe outside the Durango Congress building on 7 July 2021 in a live video by "Periódico Victoria" that has since gone viral:

    Watch her eyes and eyebrows in her self-righteous, hyper-expressive antics, especially when she says, "Los geis no tienen Matrix, OK?" (Gays do not have a hoo-ha, OK?).

    Per Darwin Mateos:

    No se que es (más) patético, su cara o lo que dice.

    I don't know what is (more) pathetic, her face or what she says.

    Per "Homosensual:"

    A pesar de hablar de Dios, esta Lady de Durango que está en contra del matrimonio igualitario parece sacada del mismísimo infierno.

    Despite talking about God, this Lady from Durango who is against marriage equality seems to be taken straight from hell itself.

    For the full, undiluted effect, here is the complete, uncut video, with her self-satisfying summary repeated in it one more time, just for good measure, right at the very bitter end: "Los geis no tienen Matrix, OK?"

    Also, since this is a foreign object in a foreign language, be aware that Matrix is pronounced "ma-TREESS," with a rolled "r."

  • 22. VIRick  |  July 9, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    Tabasco: LGBT Activists Collecting Signatures on Marriage Equality Petition

    Nos vemos mañana en punto de la 1:00 PM en el parque central de Jalpa de Méndez, Tabasco, para firmar por un matrimonio igualitario.

    See you tomorrow at 1:00 PM in the central park of Jalpa de Méndez, Tabasco, in order to sign a marriage equality petition.

    Last week, they canvassed Villahermosa. Next week, they will do the same in Comalcalco, then Paraíso, followed by Cunduacán.

  • 23. VIRick  |  July 9, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Sonora: Constitutional Marriage Equality Ruling Rendered against State Now Final

    Per Proyecto DDHH:

    En Proyecto DDHH, logramos conseguir sentencia de amparo favorable para que una pareja pueda lograr uno de sus sueños. Ayer, el 8 de julio 2021, el juzgado de distrito notificó que el fallo constitucional causo firmeza, y ahora trabajaremos en su cumplimiento.

    In the Human Rights Project, we managed to secure a favorable amparo judgment so that one couple could achieve one of their dreams. Yesterday, 8 July 2021, the district court notified that the constitutional ruling became firm/final, and now we will be working on its compliance. See also:

    A portion of said constitutional ruling is here:

    The same constitutional judgment that had been rendered against both Sinaloa and Tamaulipas has now been rendered against Sonora. Although very difficult to explain externally (as there is very little outside input applied to this arcane court process), this is basically the old "Rule of 5," as applied internally within the court system itself, whereby the court counts up the number of appeals and the number of judgments rendered against said appeals on the same matter, using the exact same language 5 successive times. When the courts have finally had enough, they suddenly pronounce.

    Yesterday, 8 July 2021, the court pronounced against the state of Sonora, and the district court handed down the notification as to the constitutional finality of said pronouncement.

    Wikipedia editor: Sonora should now be colored green, like Tamaulipas (and like Sinaloa before it), and for the exact same court-mandated reason.

  • 24. VIRick  |  July 10, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Tennessee: "Trans Signage Warning" Law Blocked by Federal Judge

    One of the nation's most insidious anti-LGBTQ laws, which required Tennessee businesses to post signs warning the public that they allow trans patrons to use their facilities, was blocked by a federal judge on Friday, 9 July.

    Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed House Bill 1182 into law in May, a law that requires any “building or facility open to the general public” allowing trans access to post a sign with this language: “This facility has a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.” It applies to locker rooms, showers, and dressing rooms as well, and went into effect on 1 July 2021.

    Responding to a joint lawsuit by Kye Sayers, who runs an arts center in Chattanooga, and by Bob Bernstein, who operates a restaurant in Nashville, Judge Aleta A. Trauger of the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted a preliminary injunction against the "trans signage warning” law while their court case against it proceeds.

    In her decision on the injunction, Trauger wrote, “Restaurants and performing spaces are businesses, but that is not all they are; they are also among the most important physical locations in which communities — so often consigned, in this era, to electronic space — can gather and grow together in a manner rooted in a particular neighborhood, in a particular city, in a particular state. The plaintiffs have presented evidence that they have strived to be welcoming spaces for communities that include transgender individuals and that the signage required by the Act would disrupt the welcoming environments that they wish to provide. That harm would be real, and it is not a harm that could simply be remedied by some award at the end of litigation.”

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  July 10, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Republican attorneys general throw giant tantrum over Joe Biden’s unfaltering LGBT+ allyship

    A letter written by Tennessee attorney general Herbert Slatery III and signed by 20 others accuses Biden of “imposing unlawful regulatory guidance” on employers and educators by forcing them not to discriminate against LGBT+ people.

    The objections from the signatories centre on transgender people’s access to restrooms and changing rooms, both in the workplace and in schools, and use of their preferred pronouns.

  • 26. Mr Domain  |  July 11, 2021 at 2:24 am

    On July 8, the Argentine government officially enacted a law, which establishes a quota of 1% of jobs in the public sector for transgender people.

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  July 11, 2021 at 4:55 am

    Israel: High Court rules same-sex couples can have children via surrogacy

    The original deadline was set in a partial ruling last year in a suit filed by Etai Pinkas, an LGBTQ+ activist who has in the past served as chairman of the Aguda – Israel’s LGBTQ Task Force.

    In the ruling, Chief Justice Esther Hayut stressed that the first suit on the matter was brought before the court in 2010, over a decade ago, with the current suit filed in 2015. Hayut stated that despite the court giving the state ample opportunity to fix the law, there had been "no substantial progress" in relation to fixing the law.

    "In these circumstances, it is not possible to come to terms with the continuing serious violation of human rights caused as a result of the existing surrogacy arrangement, and 'once a constitutional right has been violated, constitutional relief derived therefrom must be recognized.'"

    In response to the claims made by the state in the past about the inability of the Knesset to pass a constitutional version of the law, Hayut stressed that "'the lack of political feasibility' could not justify the continued serious violation of basic rights."

    The law will be fixed by deleting the current definition of "intended parents" in the law and having the term interpreted as including same-sex couples and single fathers.

  • 28. VIRick  |  July 11, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Mexicali: Fire Destroys Lesbian-Run LGBT Migrant Shelter

    Early Friday morning, 9 July 2021, a fire destroyed the lesbian-run LGBT migrant shelter, Refugio del Migrante, in the Mexican border city of Mexicali. The majority of the 152 migrants, including 22 minors, displaced by the fire are from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. They all escaped the fire without injury.

    Centro Comunitario de Bienestar Social (COBINA), a Mexicali-based group that serves LGBTQ people and other vulnerable groups, ran the shelter. It also runs two other migrant shelters, including La Posada del Migrante, in the sprawling capital city of Baja California, bordering Calexico CA in California’s Imperial Valley. These other two COBINA-run shelters continue to operate.

    COBINA President Altagracia Tamayo told "La Voz de la Frontera," a local newspaper, it appears as though an electrical short circuit in one of the shelter’s bedrooms sparked the fire. COBINA and organizers of Mexicali’s annual Pride events are raising funds to help the displaced migrants. They are also accepting donations of clothes, shoes, toilet paper, personal hygiene products, bottled water, and canned food.

    For details on how to provide donations, including monetary assistance via the Bancoppel bank account number, see this "Washington Blade" news article:

  • 29. VIRick  |  July 11, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Dominican Republic: Continuing LGBT Protests Growing Stronger

    Today, 11 July 2021, the continuing LGBT protests in front of the National Congress building in Santo Domingo have grown stronger, with an ever-increasing number of participants representing the entire spectrum of LGBT identity, in and of itself, an unprecedented phenomenon. There appear to have been three main events, the opening Marsha Queer (Queer Parade), the Furia Pájara (Brotherhood Fury, akin to the Afro-American/Afro-Caribe "down-low" scene), followed by República Queer (joyous, unrestrained dancing in the rain). Even the Spanglish names for the several events have become more radical.

    However, for several reasons, it was the Furia Pájara that immediately attracted my attention. Previously, this element would never have voluntarily shown their faces in public, let alone gather together in a large massed group with others who openly identify as LGBT. But today, in what can be deemed to be an amazing, historic LGBT turning point in the Dominican Republic rights movement, the "brothers" were there, en masse.

    Per Abe Rodríguez, together with some furia "brothers:"

    Hoy fue demasiado fuerte. Que lindo ver tantos pájares juntos!

    Today was way too strong. How nice to see so many brothers together!

    More photos and videos of the day's events can be seen here:

  • 30. VIRick  |  July 12, 2021 at 10:54 am

    USVI: LGBTQ Community Celebrates First Walk on St. Thomas

    More than 50 people joined the organizers of the first Pride Walk ever held in St. Thomas on Saturday, 10 July 2021, at Emancipation Garden. The event, originally scheduled two weeks ago but canceled due to rain, was a celebration of the lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, and queer community within St. Thomas.

    “We just want to celebrate the community, be very inclusive of the diversity within St. Thomas and within the LGBTQ community,” said Kate Youssouf, one of the organizers of the event. “We want to honor the people we have lost within that community whether it was by police violence, hate crimes, or HIV/AIDS. And we want to keep making progress because the history of oppression is inseparable from the LGBTQ community just as it is inseparable from the racial justice movement. So, when we advocate for LGBTQ lives, we are also advocating for Black lives.”

    Before the walk began, Rabbi Michael L. Feshbach of the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas spoke to the crowd, urging people to share their stories. “Because when you know another person, and who they are, walls fall down. You see a person, a human being, not a label. The best way past fear is to show our heart, and tell our truth,” he said.

    The walk took participants from Emancipation Garden, along the new waterfront sidewalk, through Yacht Haven Grande and back.

    Emancipation Garden is the historically symbolic location in the center of downtown Charlotte Amalie where the royal Danish decree was read aloud on 3 July 1848, in effect, marking this date as our own special independence day: "All unfree in the Danish West Indies shall henceforth be free."

  • 31. scream4ever  |  July 12, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Very happy for you Rick!!!

  • 32. ianbirmingham  |  July 12, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Afghanistan: Gay men will either be stoned to death or be crushed to death by toppling a 8-12 foot wall onto them under the Sharia law of the Taliban

    A Taliban judge has given a terrifying glimpse into life under the Islamist group and the fate that awaits Afghanis if the country falls back under their control.

    'Depending on the crime, we can start with fingertips or fingers. For worse offenses, we cut off the wrist, elbow, or upper arm. Death by stoning or hanging is the only option for the greatest crimes', he said.

    Asked what punishments the Taliban considers for gay men, he replied that there are only two options.

    'Either stoning or he has to stand behind a wall that falls on him. The wall must be 8ft to 10ft high,' he said.

    Rahim's bleak descriptions of Taliban 'justice' recall the worst years under the previous Islamist government that emerged in the 1990s and ruled until it was driven from power during the American invasion.

  • 33. VIRick  |  July 13, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    European Court of Human Rights Orders Russia to Recognize Same-Sex Unions

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Ever since the 2015 ruling in "Oliari and Others v. Italy," the ECHR has consistently recognized the obligation of member states to recognize LGBT civil unions. Thus:

    On Tuesday, 13 July 2021, in a new ruling issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Europe’s top human rights court has ordered Russia to recognize same-sex unions. Said ruling was in response to complaints filed in 2010 by three Russian same-sex couples whose attempts to register their marriages in Russia were rejected.

    The ECHR judges unanimously ruled that Russia violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, that is, the right to respect private and family life, by not granting legal status to the couples’ unions, the court said in its press release. Although Article 8 does not explicitly oblige Council of Europe member states to recognize same-sex marriage, it does imply a need to strike a fair balance between same-sex couples’ needs and those of the community, the court said.

    The ECHR rejected the Russian government's argument that recognizing same-sex unions would be impossible given the high share of Russians who disapprove of these unions, saying “access to rights for a minority could not be dependent on the acceptance of the majority. As regards same-sex couples, the Court reaffirms that they are just as capable as different-sex couples of entering into committed relationships, with a need for formal acknowledgment and protection of their relationship,” it added.

  • 34. ianbirmingham  |  July 13, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    It seems likely that Russia will not comply:

    The court lacks enforcement powers. Some states have ignored ECtHR verdicts and continued practices judged to be human rights violations. Russia systematically ignores ECtHR verdicts, paying compensation in most cases but refusing to fix the problem, leading to a high number of repeat cases. Russian legislation has set up a specific fund for paying the claimants in successful ECtHR verdicts.

    Notable non-implemented judgements include:

    * In Alekseyev v Russia (2010), the ban on Moscow Pride was judged to violate freedom of assembly. In 2012, Russian courts banned the event for the next 100 years. The ECtHR confirmed its ruling that bans on pride parades violate freedom of assembly rights in Alekseyev and Others v Russia (2018).

    * Fedotova v Russia (2011) and Bayev and others v Russia (2017), relating to the Russian gay propaganda law and related laws, which the court judged to abridge freedom of speech.

  • 35. VIRick  |  July 13, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Russia: ECHR Rules against State for Denying Trans Woman Access to Her Children

    On Tuesday, 6 July 2021, Europe's top human rights court, the ECHR, ruled that Russia had discriminated against a transgender mother and violated her right to family life by denying her any contact with her children. In the first ruling of its kind, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found that the rights of the divorced woman, who was blocked from seeing her children by Russian domestic courts in 2017, had been violated because of her gender identity.

    “It was clear from the domestic decisions … that the influence of the applicant’s gender identity on the assessment of her claim had been a decisive factor leading to the decision to restrict her contact with her children,” the court said. “The applicant had therefore been treated differently from other parents who also sought contact with their estranged children, but whose gender identity matched their sex assigned at birth.”

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