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12/6 open thread

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  • 1. VIRick  |  December 6, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Is Approved in the Mixed Commission

    Chile: Se Aprueba el Matrimonio Igualitario en Comisión Mixta

    Per Partido Liberal:

    Avanza el matrimonio igualitario! Mañana, se tramitará en el la Sala del Senado para finalizar su tramitación en la Cámara.
    https://twitter.com/Liberales_Chile

    Marriage equality advances! Tomorrow, it will be processed in the Full Senate so as to finalize its processing in the House.

    Per "El Ciudadano" and "El Diario de Antofagasta:"

    La Comisión Mixta aprueba el matrimonio igualitario, garantizando a las parejas del mismo sexo los derechos de filiación y de cuidado personal de hijos/as.
    https://twitter.com/El_Ciudadano/status/146793470
    https://www.diarioantofagasta.cl/regional/antofag

    The Mixed Commission approves marriage equality, guaranteeing same-sex couples the rights of filiation and of the personal care of children.

    The Full Senate will meet, analyze, and then vote upon the entire expanded marriage equality bill on 7 December 2021, between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, as just approved today by the Mixed Commission.

  • 2. VIRick  |  December 6, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Will Be Law, Tomorrow, 7 December 2021

    Chile: Tendremos Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario, el 7 de Diciembre 2021

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Este martes, 7 de diciembre, el proyecto de matrimonio igualitario será votado en el Senado y en la Cámara. Estamos atentos a los horarios de cada votación y, obviamente, a la gran celebración.
    https://twitter.com/IgualesChile

    This Tuesday, 7 December, the marriage equality bill will be voted upon in the Senate and in the House. We are attentive to the times of each vote and, obviously, to the grand celebration.

    Basically, the bill approved today in the Mixed Commission is the expanded House version, as put forth by MOVILH. That is why the bill must now proceed first to the Full Senate for its final approval. The second vote in the House is merely a formality, as the House has already approved this expanded version, the one that includes several rights relative to the legal recognition of same-sex couples and their ability to adopt.

  • 3. scream4ever  |  December 6, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Wonderful. It's been a long time coming for Chile!!!

  • 4. VIRick  |  December 6, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    It has taken more than 4 years (since August 2017), and will finally make Chile the 8th independent Latin American nation with marriage equality, behind Argentina, Mexico (more or less, but increasingly more), Uruguay, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, while both Cuba and Bolivia continue to be in process. Incredibly, too, with this final sprint, Chile is quite likely to beat Switzerland by a few weeks in the actual in-country implementation of their new marriage equality law. Plus, at that point in time, northernmost Chile (Arica/Antofagasta/Tarapacá) should be prepared for an influx of Peruvian and Bolivian same-sex couples seeking to marry.
    https://www.dw.com/es/congreso-de-chile-decidir%C

    Celebrations have been scheduled to occur tomorrow, 7 December 2021, beginning from 7:00 PM around the Obelisco in La Plaza de la Dignidad, Santiago (otherwise formerly known as Plaza Baquedano, the focal scene of many of the anti-government protests throughout 2019-2021).

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 7, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Is Law, 7 December 2021

    Per Ecupunto:

    El Senado de Chile aprobó con 21 votos a favor, 8 en contra, y 4 abstenciones/no voto (de 33) el matrimonio igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/ecupuntocom

    The Chilean Senate approved marriage equality with 21 votes in favor, 8 against, and 4 abstentions/non-votes (of 33).

    Per FES Chile y Canal Caribe Cuba:

    El 7 de diciembre 2021, tras años de discusión, con 82 votos a favor, 20 en contra, y dos abstenciones (de 155), se aprobó el matrimonio igualitario en la Cámara de Diputados.
    https://twitter.com/FESChile
    https://twitter.com/CanalCaribeCuba

    On 7 December 2021, after years of discussion, with 82 votes in favor, 20 against, and 2 abstentions (of 155), marriage equality was approved in the Chamber of Deputies.

    Or, to phrase it as a tongue-twister in both languages:

    Per Denita Gómez:

    El que se quiera casar que se case con quien quiera.
    https://twitter.com/DenitaGomez

    Those who may wish to marry may marry whoever they wish.

    The legislative process has finally been completed. The law will now be implemented following its promulgation, with the promulgation, as exercised by the President of the Republic, Sebastián Piñera, being its next step.

  • 6. VIRick  |  December 6, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Taiwanese/Chinese Same-Sex Marriages May Soon Be Legal

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Taiwanese same-sex marriages involving a Chinese spouse might soon be recognized, as the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, 5 December 2021, that it plans to amend cross-strait regulations to conform with an amendment looking to recognize all international same-sex marriages. Although marriage equality was legalized in Taiwan in 2019, the law only allows for marriages in which both partners are from countries that recognize their union.

    In January, the Judicial Yuan proposed amendments that would recognize all international same-sex marriages involving a Taiwanese national, although the changes, if passed by the legislature, would not cover Chinese partners. Instead, in order to bring cross-strait law in line with the proposed changes and to ensure Taiwanese’s right to marry, the council said it is drawing up changes to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例). The aim is to satisfy procedural and substantive justice by avoiding legal discrepancies in adjudication, the council said.

    In the Judicial Yuan’s proposal, Article 46 of the Act Governing the Choice of Law in Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements (涉外民事法律適用法) would be changed to prioritize Taiwanese marriage law in the event that national laws differ for each partner.
    https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/

  • 7. scream4ever  |  December 7, 2021 at 11:19 am

    And it's done!!!
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/12/chile-passes-

  • 8. Randolph_Finder  |  December 7, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Still not yet signed by President Sebastián Piñera.

  • 9. VIRick  |  December 8, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Is Law, 7 December 2021

    Here is a short video from last night's celebration in La Plaza de la Dignidad:
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1468391374345101315

  • 10. VIRick  |  December 8, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Is Law, 7 December 2021

    Here is a screen-shot of the tally board, courtesy of Karen Atala Riffo, showing the official final marriage equality vote of the 155 members of the Cámara de Diputados. The board indicates that there were 82 votes in favor, 20 against, and 2 abstentions, as already reported. However, beyond that, notice all the additional member names still in dark blue. There were 51 of them who simply chose not to vote at all, neither for nor against the measure, given that it had already garnered more than the 78 votes needed to secure majority approval.
    https://twitter.com/AtalaKaren/status/14682556110

  • 11. VIRick  |  December 8, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Law to Be Promulgated on 9 December 2021

    Per Víctor Arce García:

    Mañana, el 9 de diciembre 2021, el Presidente de la República, Sebastián Piñera, acompañado por ministros, subsecretarios, parlamentarios, y representantes de la sociedad civil, promulga Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/varcethetimes

    Tomorrow, 9 December 2021, the President of the Republic, Sebastián Piñera, accompanied by ministers, sub-secretaries, parliamentarians, and representatives of civil society, will promulgate the Marriage Equality Law.

    Per Rigoberto Cornejo Cáceres:

    Llegamos con 21 años de atraso. .. Pero llegamos.
    https://twitter.com/rcornejocaceres/status/146869

    We arrive 21 years late. . . But we arrive.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  December 7, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Tokyo governor plans to introduce de facto same-sex marriage next year

    Tokyo Metropolitan government will start a system that effectively allows same-sex marriage in Japan's capital in the next fiscal year from April, Japan's Kyodo news wire reported Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike as saying on Tuesday.

    The local government for the city with a population of 14 million plans to introduce "same-sex partnership" after its local assembly unanimously called for such a move, Kyodo said.

    Some local wards in Tokyo as well as some other local municipalities have already introduced a similar plan that officially recognises same-sex couples.

    But critics say LGBT couples still face disadvantages in areas such as taxation even under such partnership arrangements.

    A local court in Sapporo in northern Japan ruled in March that same-sex couples not being able to marry is "unconstitutional," the first ruling in Japan on the legality of same-sex marriage.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/tokyo-

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 7, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    Canada: Senate Approves Bill Banning "Conversion Therapy"

    On Tuesday, 7 December 2021, the Canadian Senate approved a bill that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" in the country. Last week, Attorney-General David Lametti and Women and Gender Equality and Youth Minister Marci Ien introduced the measure that would amend Canada’s Criminal Code to ban the widely discredited practice.

    The bill has already passed the House of Commons, so it will now become national law once it receives the royal assent.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2021/12/07/canadi

  • 14. VIRick  |  December 7, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    France: Senate Approves Bill Banning "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 7 December 2021, the French Senate has passed a bill to ban anti-LGBT "conversion therapy." The same bill already passed the National Assembly this past October. It now awaits the president's signature to become national law.
    https://twitter.com/lecoindeslgbt/status/14682636

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 8, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    Perú: At the Tail-End of Equality

    Perú: En la Cola de la Igualdad

    Los sectores progresistas y de izquierda que apoyan al Gobierno de Pedro Castillo no han vuelto referirse al matrimonio igualitario, mientras el vecino país de Chile avanza con su aprobación en el Congreso.
    https://lacuestion.pe/peru-en-la-cola-de-la-igual

    The progressive and left-wing sectors that support the Pedro Castillo government have not referred again to marriage equality, while the neighboring country of Chile advances with its approval in Congress.

    The same "shame game" against the last 8 recalcitrant states in Mexico works equally well against the last several hold-out nations in South America, namely, ultra-right-wing Paraguay, totally dysfunctional Venezuela, and hyper-proud Perú.

    Now that Chile has marriage equality, almost 84% of the total population of the Americas live in a nation where same-sex marriage is legal, specifically because all of the major, large-population countries have already approved it. Numerous small little pisant countries, many with tiny, diminutive populations have not. The last two Latin nations in South America with significant populations are Perú and Venezuela.

    So shaming vocally Perú, where there are zero legal protections in place for LGBT citizens, let alone marriage equality, can not hurt the situation, and will be bolstered even more when a large contingent of Peruvian same-sex couples descend upon the civil registries in northernmost Chile seeking to marry.

    Besides, Bolivia will be the next South American with marriage equality, and that reality, when it happens, and likely will happen soon, will shame Perú even more, as large swaths of Peruvian society have always viewed themselves as much "better than" those who live up there on the altiplano.

  • 16. Randolph_Finder  |  December 9, 2021 at 6:03 am

    Comments…
    Yes, but Bolivia currently has a constitutional ban on Marriage Equality (so glad for the IAHCR ruling).

    Chile is 6th in population in South America behind Venezuela and Peru.

    My honest guess is that Paraguay will be the last in South America, but will still get there prior to some nation in Central America which will probably still happen before the last nation in the Caribbean…

  • 17. Randolph_Finder  |  December 9, 2021 at 6:08 am

    With Chile and Switzerland with Marriage Equality (though not in effect in either), which nations are likely in 2022?

    Bolivia seems the most likely to grant the IAHCR ruling has merit
    Cuba is likely to get its new constitution written with Marriage Equality and passed before the end of the year
    Venezuela is still trying to write its new constitution, maybe?
    Andorra can't keep adding to the public comments time period forever.
    I'm also holding out hope for Japan.

    Other possibilities?

  • 18. scream4ever  |  December 9, 2021 at 8:13 am

    I suppose Lichtenstein will be 2023 or maybe even 2024 given their slow legislative process.

  • 19. VIRick  |  December 10, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Marriage Equality Prospects in 2022

    At the top of the list, I would place both Bolivia and Cuba.

    Courts in Bolivia have already ruled that Bolivia's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is itself unconstitutional, and based its reasoning on the fact that international treaties and agreements, like that of the CIDH, take precedence over any Bolivian law or constitutional provision. So, it is just a matter of time before the final court decision is rendered and promulgated, but it should be quite soon.

    In Cuba, the New Constitution has already been approved and is in effect. What is now under consideration is a new Family Code, and it is following the same approval process as did that of the constitution. Cuba will have marriage equality whenever this lengthly process of approval for the new Family Code is finally completed and adopted, presumably before the end of 2022.

    However, do not hold your breath waiting for Venezuela. Both Panamá and Perú are more likely, with a final court ruling in Panamá being years overdue.

    On the other hand, we can probably count on several more states in Mexico to approve marriage equality, most likely Tamaulipas and Veracruz, but also the possibility of Guanajuato and Edomex. Yucatán must also complete its process.

    In Europe, the next should be Andorra and Liechtenstein, with the possibility that the Czech Republic might also approve their pending legislation.

    In East Asia, in addition to Taiwan expanding its legislation to include all International marriages, as well as those involving partners from China, it would seem that Japan is next-most-likely. However, there is also the possibility that we could obtain a massive, landmark ruling from courts in India in favor of same-sex marriage.

    Israel may introduce civil marriage, a pre-requisite before we can even begin to think about same-sex marriage taking place there.

    In Africa, there is the possibility that both Namibia and Botswana, and both as direct spill-overs from South Africa, might see some major movement toward marriage equality. In both instances, court decisions would be the key.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  December 11, 2021 at 10:59 am

    100% agree with this analysis. Bring it on, 2022!

  • 21. Randolph_Finder  |  December 11, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Comments/questions…

    Who do you expect to be *last* in mainland South America (including Guyana/Suriname?)

    Will all of Mexico get to Marriage Equality by the end of 2022?

    Still feels like the last to get there in the Americas will be somewhere in the Caribbean, Haiti?

    I'm not sure why Andorra keeps extending the public comment time, my honest guess is that it is approved and signed by the French President less than 3 months after the end of the public comment time.

    I doubt Czechoslovakia. The new PM as of the October 2021 election has publicly opposed it. Lithuania before Estonia would be interesting. When was the last time a non-island country gained Marriage Equality without bordering a country that already had it?

    Taiwan's changes there have more to do with cross-straight politics than LGBT politics, I think. I could see Japan, the news regarding Tokyo will bring LGBT relationship much more to the public eye.

    Not sure off the top of my head if India allowing Marriage Equality would double the population of the countries where it can occur or not. It would be close.

    Israel is *wierd* in that way. Without Civil Marriage, Same Sex Marriage basically gets grouped with pretty much every other type of non-single group marriage. If a Jew and a Muslim get marriage, they have to have the marriage done elsewhere, it just that if the Jew and the Muslim are different genders, they can go to Cyprus and if they are of the same gender they have to go to Austria. The question is whether Civil Marriage when created will allow for same sex marriages or not.

    At least in Namibia and Botswana it is *possible*. Most of the rest of Africa have governments that would ignore court decisions in our favor.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  December 9, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    There could be twice as many LGBT adults in US as previously estimated, report says: At least 20 million adults in the U.S. could be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to a new report released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/1

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  December 9, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    Based on data from respondents in the Household Pulse Survey, a national household probability survey of adults in the United States, at least 20 million adults in the United States could be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender – nearly 8% of the total adult population, almost double prior estimates for the LGBTQ+ community’s size. It also suggests that more than 1% of people in the United States identify as transgender, higher than any prior estimates. Additionally, it confirms prior research showing that bisexual people represent the largest single contingent of LGBTQ+ people, at about 4% of respondents.

    https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/we-are-here-lg

  • 24. VIRick  |  December 9, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Chile: President of the Republic Promulgates Marriage Equality Law

    On Thursday, 9 December 2021, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera signed the law that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples in the South American country. “Freedom, true freedom, is always built when we recognize ourselves as equal in dignity and in rights, and above all, under the law,” he said during a signing ceremony that took place at the Presidential Palace in Santiago, the Chilean executive capital.

    In 2012, MOVILH, the leading Chilean LGBTQ rights group, filed a lawsuit with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) on behalf of three same-sex couples who were seeking marriage rights. One couple included Karen Atala, the original Chilean LGBT rights activist.

    Later, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) ruled in favor of Karen Atala, a Chilean judge who had lost custody of her three daughters to her ex-husband because she is a lesbian. Ever since, this landmark decision established the legal precedent that has been used to advance marriage rights for same-sex couples throughout Latin America, one that eventually also led to the definitive decision on the matter, OC24/17.

    Furthermore, in its aftermath, in 2016, the government of former President Michelle Bachelet, now the UN High Commissioner for Human Riights, said it would introduce bills to extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples as part of the friendly agreement (acuerdo amistoso) established between it, MOVILH, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH). In mid-2017, it followed through on doing so, a move that eventually led us to today's promulgation ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2021/12/09/chilea

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  December 10, 2021 at 2:14 am

    A Catholic diocese in Michigan has instructed its pastors to deny baptism, confirmation and other sacraments to transgender and nonbinary people unless they have “repented”

    The guidance issued by the Diocese of Marquette also stipulates that transgender people may not receive Communion, which Catholics believe is the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. In most circumstances, they cannot receive the anointing of the sick, which is meant to provide physical or spiritual healing to those who are seriously ill. The guidance was issued in July but only recently sparked a debate after a prominent priest and advocate for LGBTQ Catholics shared it on Twitter.

    https://archive.md/xuoGv

  • 26. Randolph_Finder  |  December 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

    The Diocese of Marquette is equal to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is part of the Archdiocese of Detroit which covers the entire state of Michigan.

    The instructions are at the following link. https://www.dioceseofmarquette.org/images/files/0

  • 27. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 10, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Here is more information on this obnoxious instruction from New Ways Ministry.
    https://www.newwaysministry.org/2021/12/10/marque

    The comment about the UP explains a lot.

  • 28. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 11, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Catholics React Strongly Against Diocese of Marquette’s New Anti-LGBTQ Restrictions
    https://www.newwaysministry.org/2021/12/11/cathol

    Dignity USA has launched a petition asking Bishop Doerfler to withdraw the policy, saying, in part: “The sacraments should not be weaponized, period. Not against LGBTQ+ people, not anyone.” More information is available here.
    https://www.dignityusa.org/content/our-church-too

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  December 10, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Josh Tutt, an openly gay candidate, announced his candidacy for Texas Senate District 18 on December 9. He was contacted in early December by several community leaders who urged him to run in SD-18.

    With a population of 956,463, SD-18 is a predominately white Republican district that has been represented by Brenham’s Lois Kolkorst since 2000.

    For more on Josh Tutt, visit: http://tuttfortexas.com

    https://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2021/12/openly-g

  • 30. VIRick  |  December 10, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    New Zealand Passes Gender Identity Law Based on Self-Determination

    On Thursday, 9 December 2021, the Parliament of New Zealand passed a gender identity bill, first introduced in 2018, that will allow transgender New Zealanders to self-ID in order to change their name and gender marker on official documents.

    The legislation removes the statutory legal requirement for a determination of gender identity/gender marker to be backed by documentation from a medical professional for changing birth certificates and other official documents.

    The legislation will take affect in 18 months after the New Zealand government consults with the transgender community and others to ensure that the legislation works to support those it concerns.

    Consultation will begin next year on the regulations which will determine who is a suitably qualified third party to support applications for young people; find a way to make sure the sex markers available for the birth certificate include non-binary and cultural options; and determine any additional requirements for anyone seeking to amend their registered sex more than once, the "New Zealand Herald" reported.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2021/12/10/new-ze

  • 31. VIRick  |  December 10, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Law Published in Official Gazette

    Per Burdas Chile:

    El 10 de Diciembre 2021, la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario (Ley Nº 21.400) ya está publicada en el Diario Oficial de Chile. De aquí a 90 días, ya podrás celebrarse las primeras bodas!
    https://twitter.com/BurdasMagazine/status/1469477

    On 10 December 2021, the Marriage Equality Law (Law No. 21.400) has already been published in the Official Gazette of Chile. Ninety days from now, one will be able to celebrate the first weddings!

    So, the first same-sex couples can be legally married in Chile from 10 March 2022.

  • 32. VIRick  |  December 11, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Zacatecas: Marriage Equality Bill Advances in the State Congress

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    El 9 de diciembre 2021, la iniciativa presentada por el diputado Xerardo Ramírez Muñoz fue respaldada en la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Congreso del Estado de Zacatecas, donde se dictaminó a favor para que el matrimonio pueda ser entre dos personas indistintamente del sexo.

    En la reforma al Código Familiar, además de señalar que “es la unión jurídica de dos personas” y no de hombre y mujer, como actualmente está, también se cambia la parte donde dice que los contrayentes tienen la “posibilidad de procrear hijos” por la frase: “que pueden constituir una familia."

    Para este martes, el 14 de diciembre 2021, está programada la votación a la reforma al Código Familiar por el Pleno para permitir el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.
    https://zacatecasonline.com.mx/noticias/local/809

    On 9 December 2021, the initiative presented by the deputy Xerardo Ramírez Muñoz was endorsed in the Human Rights Committee of the Zacatecas State Congress, where it was favorably drafted so that marriage can be between two persons regardless of sex.

    In the reform of the Family Code, in addition to stating that “it is the legal union of two people” and not of a man and a woman, as it currently states, the part where it says that the spouses have the “possibility of having children” is also changed to the phrase: “that can constitute a family."

    The vote on the reform of the Family Code by the Full Congress to allow marriage between same-sex couples is scheduled for this Tuesday, 14 December 2021.

  • 33. VIRick  |  December 11, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Guanajuato: State Congress Sued over Failure to Legislate for Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Following in the footsteps of neighboring Querétaro, a civil society group in Guanajuato state named Amicus has sued the state congress over their failure to legislate in favor of marriage equality. The amparo lawsuit was originally filed on 4 November 2021, but was only publicly disclosed on 9 December. The constitutional hearing (audiencia constitucional del juicio) on the matter has been scheduled to occur on 28 December 2021, after which there will be a maximum 3-month interval before a resolution is issued.

    Within the last two years, 41 same-sex couples have married in Guanajuato state, 21 in 2020 and 20 so far in 2021, all with the required amparo in hand.

    Since this extended news article has been copyrighted, I am unable to do my usual copy-and-paste, and have had to resort to a rough, on-the-fly translation of the main points.
    https://www.am.com.mx/guanajuato/Matrimonio-igual

  • 34. VIRick  |  December 11, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    New Jersey: Legislature Moves to Codify Marriage Equality into State Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The New Jersey State Legislature has finally begun the process of codifying marriage equality into state law, following the 2013 state Supreme Court decision legalizing it.

    On Thursday, 9 December 2021, the Assembly Judiciary Committee voted, 4-0, to advance legislation, NJ A5367 (20R), that says, “laws concerning marriage and civil union shall be read with gender-neutral intent.”

    "The statutes of our state have never caught up to the court decisions … which no longer treated same-sex couples as second-class citizens. So it’s important that we take this step and ensure that our law enshrines these rights," said Assembly member Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson), the committee chair.

    New Jersey began allowing gay couples to marry in late 2013 after a state Superior Court judge ruled the ban on same-sex marriage violated the equal protection guarantee of the New Jersey Constitution, despite a civil union law enacted in 2006.

    The bill will likely move quickly during the lame duck session. Senate President Steve Sweeney said he’d like to pass the bill in the upper house on 20 December. Sweeney said he became alarmed after it became clear to him that the US Supreme Court would likely gut "Roe v. Wade," declaring, “If they can do that, same-sex marriage can be next.”
    https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  December 11, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    Men who contracted HIV back in the 1980s appear to have had a different microbiome than their counterparts who remained HIV-negative

    “We weren’t looking at the microbiome back then, trust me. It wasn’t even in our lexicon,” said Charles Rinaldo, a co-senior author of the study and a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh.

    In 1983, the National Institutes of Health funded what was called the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study in four cities, including Pittsburgh, in the race to understand the then-mysterious illness.

    Back then, researchers at Pitt collected samples of blood, throat washings, urine, semen and stool every six months from a group of gay men who did not have AIDS at the start of the study.

    When other researchers discovered HIV was responsible for the development of AIDS, the researchers at Pitt stopped collecting the samples. But instead of throwing the samples away, the team stored them in a biorepository.

    Today's researchers obtained the preserved blood and stool samples from 265 participants who did not have HIV when they enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, including 109 who later contracted the virus in that first year.

    The resulting study ultimately found men who had sex with men who contracted HIV had more pro-inflammatory gut microbes than their counterparts who remained HIV-negative. They also found men who progressed to AIDS the most quickly had the least favorable gut biome.

    "To our knowledge, this is the first time we've been able to address what predisposed men who had sex with men to become infected with HIV and beyond that developing AIDS," Rinaldo said.

    https://www.axios.com/35-year-old-stool-blood-sam

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