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Ninth Circuit rules Prop 8 proponents lack standing in tapes case

Prop 8 Prop 8 trial

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its ruling in the appeal over the release of tapes from the Prop 8 trial. The appeals court ruled 2-1 that the proponents of Prop 8 lack standing in the case. The ruling says that the proponents lack an injury-in-fact, one of the important prerequisites for Article III standing.

The proponents had argued that unsealing the tapes would create a “palpable injustice” for them and that they and future litigants might not be able to rely on “judicial promises” in future cases.

As Equality Case Files notes, the case probably isn’t over. The proponents can ask the Ninth Circuit to hold an en banc hearing. Typically in the circuit courts this means all judges on the court would participate. Since the Ninth Circuit consists of a lot of states, in that circuit it’s a smaller “en banc panel” that would be assigned to the case if proponents ask for it and the court grants it.

They could also ask the Supreme Court to decide the issue. We’ll report back when we have more information.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  November 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    Mauritius: Up-Date on Court Case to Decriminalize Homosexuality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A crucial hearing in the case challenging the constitutionality of Section 250, brought by Abdool Ridwan Firaas Ah Seek, a 31-year-old human rights activist, took place on 16 November 2021 in the Supreme Court of Mauritius. Mr Ah Seek has been supported in his endeavor by the Collectif Arc-En-Ciel (CAEC), the largest and longest-standing organization in Mauritius championing the human rights of LGBT people.

    The current version of Section 250 dates back to 1838 and is a relic of Mauritius’ colonial past. Those convicted under this law could face a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment. Giving evidence before the Court, Abdool Ridwan Firaas Ah Seek said, "Because of this law, the threat of arrest hangs constantly over my head. It’s like the Sword of Damocles. I’m just a normal person, I pay my taxes. I don’t want to be considered a criminal."

    In an interview after the hearing, Gavin Glover SC, who represented Mr Ah Seek, said, "We are very pleased that for the first time in history the Supreme Court has heard a case challenging the constitutionality of Section 250 on its merits."

    The case was originally filed at the Supreme Court on 25 October 2019. The next hearing in the case is due to take place in early 2022.

  • 2. VIRick  |  November 18, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Thailand: Constitutional Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 17 November 2021, the Constitutional Court of Thailand ruled that Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code, which specifies marriage as being between heterosexuals, does not contravene the constitution. However, the judges made clear that they believed a legislative remedy was required, with a positive statement suggesting lawmakers enact laws that “ensure” equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

    The court heard the case at the behest of the Central Juvenile and Family Court, where the legal challenge was made last year by Permsub Sae-ung and Puangphet Hengkham, a couple of 12 years, after Bangkok’s Phasi Charoen District Office rejected their marriage registration because they were “a woman and a woman.”

    A bill to legalize same-sex unions, hailed by some as regionally progressive yet derided for not extending full marriage rights, has languished for years in parliament. Last year, it was shelved again for “more work.” Some lawmakers have even questioned its necessity.

  • 3. VIRick  |  November 18, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    US Supreme Court: An LGBT Win; The "Arlene's Flowers" Case Has Finally Been Settled

    The Washington State florist who refused to make a floral arrangement for a couple due to her supposed religious objections to same-sex marriage is withdrawing her pending petition before the US Supreme Court, after announcing that she has finally settled her longstanding dispute, according to her lawyers.

    The settlement means that the Supreme Court justices will not — for now — wade into yet another bitter "religious liberty" dispute for a second time, one pitting a business owner who obstinately refused to provide a service to a same-sex couple, against state laws that bar said discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Barronelle Stutzman "has chosen to retire so her beloved employees can run her business, Arlene's Flowers," attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom said in a statement. "She will withdraw a pending petition for rehearing at the US Supreme Court and make a payment of only $5,000 to the two men who sued her." Her lawyers said that she is "at peace" with the settlement.

    The Washington State non-discrimination law remains intact and unchallenged. Cottonelle can now quietly retire in blissful ignorance, and the ADF can go lick its crusty old wounds, while searching for another fool (or different ass-wipe) to carry on with its quixotic quest to abrogate LGBT rights.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  November 19, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    When the ACLU represents you in a lawsuit, one of the conditions involved is that any awards won via ACLU efforts go to the ACLU to cover its own expenses and (if any funds are left over) to fund future ACLU litigation. So the $5,000 payment here really goes to the ACLU rather than to Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Freed.

    As a proudly card-carrying member of the ACLU, I am happy to also fund future ACLU litigation, and I urge everyone else here to do the same:

    In addition, here is the ACLU's Equality Act activism page, from which you can easily send helpful messages to your US Senators about passing the Equality Act (H.R. 5/S. 393):

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  November 19, 2021 at 5:31 am

    Thailand: LGBTIQ+ community calls for greater rights as same-sex bill denied

    When Thailand’s same sex marriage bill was blocked by a panel of Constitutional Court judges on Thursday, the LGBTIQ+ community was devastated.

    Many believed that the bill would finally be taken seriously. But the LGBTIQ+ community’s doubts were confirmed when the court judges dismissed it. Activists say the ruling signals that Thailand’s conservative elite is still not ready to offer them equal rights.

    Nattawut Buaprathum, deputy party leader of Move Forward Party, told Thai Enquirer that it seems like it’s still going to take more time.

    Nattawut added that for over 70 years, gender has been designated based on sex given at birth. But he said that today, many modern countries have strongly endorsed gender diversity.

    It’s a view that most people within the LGBTIQ+ community have. Most gender rights activists feel that Thailand is still stuck in an archaic past when it comes to gender equality. They feel it’s about time that the rest of the country catches up to modern norms.

    Nitchanat Sudlapa, founder of Ruam Thai United Party and the first transgender model from Thailand to walk in New York Fashion Week, took to Facebook to voice her opinion on the vote.

    Nitchanat went on to say that the Thai government is using gender-diverse people as a tool to promote the country, but they instead ignore their struggle for rights, continuously pushing a two-gender system.

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  November 19, 2021 at 5:33 am

    Thailand: Constitutional Court decision a blow for Thailand’s image as a gay-friendly destination

    The ruling comes despite Thailand’s reputation as a ‘gay paradise’ and despite widespread recognition of the rights of the gay community by Thai society at large.

    Emily Pradichit, an international human rights lawyer who has been advocating for LGBTQ rights since 2009 and is the Founder of Manushya Foundation, told Thai Enquirer that during the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review on human rights, Thailand received 12 UPR recommendations on LGBTQ rights, including four recommendations to amend section 1448 to recognize same-sex marriage by France, Iceland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

    It seems these recommendations fell on deaf ears.

    It is ironic considering Thailand’s attempts to actively promote the country as an LGBTQ friendly nation. The Tourism Authority of Thailand even launched a website for their Go Thai Be Free campaign in January 2019 to reach out to LGBTQ travelers.

    It is doubly ironic considering how progressive Thailand’s entertainment industry has become in the past few years.

    The country has also become known around the region for its boys-love TV and web series which depict relationships between male characters. The widely viewed shows are a hit around Asia. Miss Tiffany’s Universe pageant in Pattaya also presents Thailand as a progressive country to the world.

    Phuttachart Luang-On, a 28-year-old LGBTIQ person, told Thai Enquirer about his struggle to come out as gay.

    “I don’t see where this is heading,” Puttachart said. “Thailand is a very hypocritical and conservative country. People’s willingness to open up to something they don’t understand is very low.”

  • 7. VIRick  |  November 19, 2021 at 11:59 am

    HHS Reverses Non-Discrimination Waiver for Federally-Funded Adoption Agencies

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Biden administration is reversing Trump-era rules that allowed federally-funded child welfare agencies to bypass non-discrimination rules if such conflicted with the provider's religious beliefs. On Thursday, 18 November 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it was rescinding waivers granted to three states that allowed faith-based foster care groups that contracted with state agencies to turn away same-sex and non-Christian couples while still receiving federal money.

    At the time, Trump administration officials said they were protecting "religious liberty" by granting blanket waivers from non-discrimination protections to South Carolina, Texas, and Michigan agencies, some of which did not even ask for such a waiver. The Trump administration argued that those protections violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

    In rebuttal, civil rights advocates argued that these waivers opened the door to federally-funded discrimination against prospective parents, including single parents, LGBT individuals or same-sex couples, parents who may have previously been divorced, interfaith couples, and those who follow a different religion.

  • 8. VIRick  |  November 21, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    The HHS waiver for South Carolina's federally-funded child welfare agencies was granted on 23 January 2019. Almost immediately, on 15 February 2019, this federal lawsuit challenging said waiver was filed:

    South Carolina Adoption Agency Waiver Challenged in Federal Suit

    On 15 February 2019, in the US District Court for South Carolina, Greenville Division, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit to challenge the state and federal waivers granted to South Carolina foster/adoption agencies which allow the agencies to discriminate based on religion. The suit was filed in federal court on behalf of a Catholic woman turned away from (Baptist-run) Miracle Hill, the largest foster-care provider in the state.

    The complaint argues:
    • It is unconstitutional for government-funded agencies to discriminate against prospective foster parents and volunteers based on their religion.
    • South Carolina and HHS may not spend or provide tax dollars to faith-based foster care agencies that use discriminatory religious criteria.
    • HHS did not follow proper procedure when it excused South Carolina and its foster care agencies from following federal anti-discrimination law.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Timothy M Cain.

    Note: The waiver also allows said agencies to discriminate against single parents and LGBT couples, but the woman in question is suing because of religious affiliation discrimination, given that she is neither a single mother nor LGBT. Still, her lawsuit will ultimately knock down the entire waiver.

    And now, her lawsuit has succeeded in doing precisely that.

  • 9. VIRick  |  November 19, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Supreme Court of Mexico: New Marriage Equality Jurisprudence Issued

    Per César Briceño:

    En 2019, un juez de distrito en Yucatán dijo que teníamos que comprobar ser personas LGBTQ para ampararnos contra las votaciones secretas contra el matrimonio igualitario. Hoy, el 19 de noviembre 2021, la SCJN publicó 4 criterios derivados del amparo del Colectivo PTF Yucatán como jurisprudencias obligatorias.

    In 2019, a federal district judge in Yucatán said that we would have to prove that we were LGBTQ persons in order to protect ourselves against the secret ballots against marriage equality. Today, 19 November 2021, the SCJN published 4 criteria derived from the amparo suit of the Colectivo PTF Yucatán as obligatory jurisprudence.

    In the first criterion, the Supreme Court stated that it was sufficient for LGBT persons to self-identify as pertinent individuals in filing the amparo suit, or as family members of pertinent individuals, without the need for any further investigation.

    The other 3 are here, but all focus on the sufficiency of self-identification in various other later aspects of the lawsuit (In US law, we would say that the court determined that throughout the process the self-identified plaintiffs had standing, and continued to have standing). And now, with its publication, that concept becomes obligatory jurisprudence in the court's handling of all future LGBT challenges in all future marriage equality (or related) cases. It follows the same line of reasoning of self-identification as already established in the jurisprudence regarding gender identity.

  • 10. VIRick  |  November 20, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Aguascalientes: Marriage Equality Legislative Up-Date

    Per LJA.MX:

    Confían en Aguascalientes que se logrará armonizar el Código Civi del Estado en materia de matrimonio igualitario porque cinco diputados del PAN votarían a favor.

    They are confident in Aguascalientes that it will be able to harmonize the State Civil Code in matters of marriage equality because five PAN deputies would vote in favor.

    Marriage equality has been legal in Aguascalientes ever since the 2019 Supreme Court ruling against the state. However, until now, the State Civil Code has yet to be revised and up-dated to reflect this reality.

    For it to succeed in the 27-member Aguascalientes Congress, the current marriage equality proposal would need 14 votes in favor so as to obtain a required simple majority. According to the lead PRD deputy, Emanuelle Sánchez Nájera, PRD/Morena together already have 9 votes in favor. In addition, based on her experience and her current count, 5 PAN deputies have also privately expressed support. The views of the PRI and Verde deputies are uncertain/unknown, but they have not been supportive in the past.

  • 11. VIRick  |  November 21, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Querétaro: 15 Same-Sex Couples Ready to Marry

    Especificó que 11 de las parejas son de San Juan del Río y 4 son de la capital queretana, Santiago de Querétaro, quienes no habían dado este paso ante el Registro Civil debido a que antes era necesaria la figura del amparo para poder solicitar la unión civil.

    Specifically, 11 of the couples are from San Juan del Río and 4 are from the capital of Querétaro, Santiago de Querétaro, those who had not taken this step in front of the Civil Registry immediately prior because an amparo was necessary in order to be able to request such civil union.

  • 12. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Kast's first round and probable second round victory in Chile is bound to create even more problems to an already troubled marriage equality progress and LGBTQ rights in general. Very unfortunate. I really hoped after the constitutional assembly election Chile was on a progressive track.

  • 13. VIRick  |  November 22, 2021 at 9:11 am

    In Chile, it is not over yet. Boric is the candidate who must win in the second round of presidential voting. In the meantime, the current Congress is still in session, and must hurry the pending marriage equality legislation to completion so it can be signed into law by the current president. It appears to be doing precisely that:

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Matrimonio igualitario se encuentra en tabla para este martes, el 23 de noviembre 2021. Esperamos la ratificación de los comités durante la tarde. Si la Camara se lo propone, mañana el proyecto de ley podría terminar su segundo trámite constitucional. Estaremos informando.

    Marriage equality is on the agenda for this Tuesday, 23 November 2021. We await the ratification from the committees during the afternoon. If the Chamber proposes it, the billl could finish its second constitutional process tomorrow. We will be informing.

    Per MOVILH:

    In addition, in yesterday's election, 21 November 2021, in an historic first, 3 out LGBT deputies were elected to seats in the Chilean Chamber of Deputies for the next congress: Camila Musante, Marcela Riquelme, y Emilia Schneider, the latter being the first-ever transgender person elected to such position.

    The new congress will take their seats on 11 March 2022. The current congress needs to complete the marriage equality legislation well before that date so as to give time for the presidential signing of the bill by the current president.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  November 23, 2021 at 1:17 am

    Considering how fast it's moving now, it wouldn't surprise me if it's approved by the end of the year.

  • 15. VIRick  |  November 22, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Iowa: Court Again Finds Medicaid Denial of Sex-Change Surgery Unlawful

    In a case argued in state court, an Iowa law that prohibits Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgeries for transgender residents was deemed to violate state law and the state constitution, a judge ruled in a decision made public on Monday, 23 November 2021.

    Judge William Kelly ordered the Iowa Department of Human Services to provide coverage for sex reassignment surgeries when ordered to treat gender dysphoria, a psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity. Mika Covington is a transgender woman diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2015, while Aiden Vasquez is a transgender man diagnosed with it in 2016.

    The ruling is a victory for the two Iowans represented by the ACLU of Iowa who filed the lawsuit in April against the state of Iowa, challenging a 2019 law that allows Medicaid to deny payment for sex reassignment surgeries for transgender residents.

    Kelly said state and federal courts in the past 16 years have found that gender identity discrimination is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited under civil rights laws. He also found the law violated the equal protection clause of the state constitution.

    Actually, this is the second time this duo has won their case in court. The original decision was upheld by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2019. However, that 2019 ruling prompted the Republican-led legislature to perversely pass further Medicaid surgical spending restrictions into law, which in turn, forced this same duo back through the entire denial of coverage process a second time, at which point they again sued the state one more time. Today's decision is the result.

  • 16. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 23, 2021 at 7:21 am

    Iowa Supreme Court—Transgender

    The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday that the state’s Medicaid program must cover the cost of sex-change operations for transgender persons.

    The first litigation was at the Iowa District Court level. The current litigation was in the Iowa Supreme Court; and yes, that step was made necessary by the Iowa legislature actions in 2019 in response to the District Court verdict.

    It appears the haters are considering a petition to SCOTUS.

    “Gov. Kim Reynolds' spokesman Alex Murphy said she is disappointed by the ruling “and disagrees with the district court’s ruling on Medicaid coverage for transgender reassignment surgeries. We are reviewing the decision with our legal team and exploring all options moving forward.” Last paragraph in this article.

  • 17. VIRick  |  November 24, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    Iowa: Court Again Finds Medicaid Denial of Sex-Change Surgery Unlawful

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Judge Kelly's ruling in the instant case is here:

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