Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

12/20 open thread


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


  • 1. VIRick  |  December 20, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Guanajuato: Marriage Equality Declared Legal from Today, 20 December 2021

    Per Juan Pablo Delgado:

    Hoy, el 20 de diciembre 2021, Guanajuato se suma a la lista de los estados que permiten el matrimonio igualitario. Si bien continúa la necesidad de reformar la ley local, se da un paso enorme en la construcción de una sociedad que ofrezca condiciones iguales para todas las personas.

    Today, 20 December 2021, Guanajuato joins the list of states that allow marriage equality. While the need to reform state law continues, an enormous step is taken in building a society that offers equal conditions for all people.

    Today, 20 December 2021, the Secretaría de Gobierno (Government Secretary) of Guanajuato state, Lidia Dennese García Muñoz, issued an official directive, 2261/2021, addressed to all Civil Registry officials in Guanajuato state that henceforth, effective from today's date, same-sex couples can be married in Guanajuato state without the further need of their first obtaining a judicial amparo.

    This measure was undertaken through the issuance of a governmental decree, (with the implicit consent of the state governor, and in accordance with established Supreme Court jurisprudence,) just as was done in Chihuahua, Baja California, and Oaxaca, but which most other Mexican state governors have so far refused to do.

    With this decree now in effect in Guanajuato, the state law can catch up whenever the state law manages to catch up. State law in Chihuahua, for example, has been "waiting" to catch up with its gubernatorial decree ever since mid-2015. Due to Supreme Court "Action of Unconstitutionality" rulings, state law in Jalisco, Chiapas, Aguascalientes, and Nuevo León is also "waiting" to catch up with said court rulings. In the case of Jalisco, that "wait" began in early 2016. In the meantime, same-sex couples continue to marry in all of those states.

  • 2. Randolph_Finder  |  December 21, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Has Zacatecas published in the official state gazette? Guanjuato might be viewed as actually being before Zacatecas if it hasn't.

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 21, 2021 at 7:31 am

    As best as can be determined, the Zacatecas law allowing marriage equality has yet to be published in the official state gazette, and thus, it will not take effect until that has happened. However, in this instance, there is a peculiar twist in that at least 5 of its 58 municipalities already allow same-sex couples to marry without requiring a judicial amparo beforehand. Particularly in the state capital, Ciudad Zacatecas, as well as in Fresnillo, same-sex couples have been able to legally marry for the last several years, and continue to do so, regardless of state law. Same-sex couples from neighboring Durango state have even travelled to Zacatecas in order to be able to marry there.

    On the other hand, in Guanajuato, despite the executive decree having immediate effect from 20 December 2021, no same-sex couples have yet been able to marry in that state without first obtaining a judicial amparo. Needless to say, we are keeping a watch for the announcement of the first same-sex marriage to occur in that state without amparo. No one could have anticipated (as no advance notice had been given) that the decree would even be issued, so no one was prepared for it in advance, including the FNF "pro vida" haters and their army of praying "abuelas." Late yesterday afternoon, the decree was suddenly issued, leaving observers fairly surprised.

    Still, at the state level, Guanajuato will likely be counted as having implemented marriage equality before Zacatecas. Guanajuato is also, by far, the most-populous state to have legalized marriage equality in Mexico in 2021.

    At the time I finally quit keeping track of the state-by-state amparo count, Guanajuato was #2, right behind the leader, Yucatán, in the number of judicial amparos granted.

  • 4. Randolph_Finder  |  December 21, 2021 at 6:23 am

    Sort of an odd question, are there any countries left without any Marriage Equality that are "Federal" enough that marriage equality could be granted in one piece of the country but not others? We've had that in Canada, the US and Mexico. Australia didn't. I'm not sure there is any country left in the Americas that has that level of Federalism. All of the European countries with "sort of still attached pieces in the Caribbean" have Marriage Equality in the mainland. New Zealand has *sort* of the same issue with some of it's pacific parts. Could it happen in India?

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 21, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Early on, Brasil also began the state-by-state process of legalizing marriage equality. However, their Supreme Court quickly put an end to that piece-meal approach by issuing a nationwide ruling in early 2013 that legalized marriage equality throughout. In Latin America, only Mexico and Brasil are federal republics, both modelled after the USA. But Mexico is uniquely Mexico, and no other nation worldwide will be as messy.

    The leftover colonial "oddments" problem we are facing in the Caribbean and the South Pacific (and in South Asia and Africa) is a much more complicated can of worms, as it also involves decriminalizing same-sex sexual activity. However, in this regard, India leads the way, and when India legalizes same-sex marriage, it will be nationwide, not state-by-state.

  • 6. Randolph_Finder  |  December 21, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Sort of makes you wish the Queen could singlehandedly get rid of Section 377 from everywhere in the commonwealth.

    In terms of federalization, I wonder if it is basically the same level as what countries could have second cousins marry in some places but not others.

    Also, theoretically Nigeria is Federal in that way, it has different laws in the south (Horrible) and north (REALLY Horrible)

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  December 23, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Worldwide, more than 10% of marriages are between first or second cousins.

    In the United States, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws unanimously recommended in 1970 that all laws against cousin marriage should be repealed. 19 U.S. states allow marriages between first cousins, and 7 U.S. states allow only some marriages between first cousins. Some U.S. states prohibiting cousin marriage recognize cousin marriages performed in other states.

    The Middle East has uniquely high rates of cousin marriage among the world's regions. Iraq was estimated in one study to have a rate of 33% for cousins marrying.

    Robin Bennett, a University of Washington researcher, has said that much hostility towards married cousins constitutes discrimination:

    It's a form of discrimination that nobody talks about. People worry about not getting health insurance—but saying that someone shouldn't marry based on how they're related, when there's no known harm, to me is a form of discrimination."

  • 8. VIRick  |  December 21, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Yes, Nigeria is some sort of federal union, but given the rancid atmosphere there, the point is too theoretical to be significant. Malaysia and Indonesia are also some sort of federal unions, as well, but one should not hold their breath waiting for any positive development from either.

    The Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Zaire) might also be some sort of federal union, but is so close to being border-line ungovernable that one can not really know. Then, there is Somaliland (the ex-British portion) that unilaterally split from Somalia (the ex-Italian portion) and effectively governs itself. And the unsuccessful merger of Yemen and South Yemen (Aden, the former British portion) that no one effectively governs. And the mess in Ethiopia/Tigray/Eritrea where there is no prospect for anything positive from any of these. Plus, Libya was supposed to be some sort of tripartite merger, as well.

  • 9. Fortguy  |  December 21, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Consider that one of these "oddments" in the South Pacific includes American Samoa, the only natively populated U.S. territory where the legality of same-sex marriage is unclear. The territory is the only one of the five territories permanently populated by civilians whose residents do not hold birthright citizenship. The territory's constitution creates a system of local government ruled by family clan associations rather than free votes. Last year's census gives the territory a population of 49,710, a decrease of 10.5 percent from the 2010 census.

    Under the arcane Insular Acts of the early 20th Century, the Constitution does not follow the flag in U.S. territories. The Constitution only applies in those territories that Congress has incorporated as an integral part of the U.S. The only incorporated territory is Palmyra Atoll, with no permanent population, and only because incorporation cannot be revoked as Palmyra was separated from Hawaii when Hawaii was given statehood.

    Uniquely among natively populated territories, American Samoa is not an organized territory meaning that Congress has not passed an "organic act" creating a system of self-governance for the territory. At some time in the past, Congress did authorize the State Department to consult with local officials to create a local Constitution for American Samoa. The constitution thus created was approved by local voters and is de facto law. Congress, however, has never ratified nor rejected the territorial Constitution, and, thus, American Samoa is considered unorganized on that technicality alone.

    Many aspects of AS law do not conform to what is acceptable in the U.S. or the rest of it's territories. Its family clan-based local governance falls afoul of the Constitutional principal of one-man-one-vote required elsewhere, for instance, although it lines up with how the neighboring Republic of Samoa governs itself. AS also believes in communal land ownership rather than private property rights. A non-Samoan may not buy land in AS but may merely lease.

    Marriage equality in the territory awaits either for some same-sex couple to either seek a marriage license or to have an expatriate return having married elsewhere seeking legal recognition of their marriage. So far, neither has happened yet.

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  December 22, 2021 at 9:16 am

    I regret that I have but one upvote to give for this very cogent analysis

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  December 21, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Qatar seizes 'un-Islamic' children's toys with rainbow patterns similar to LGBT flags

    Authorities in Qatar have seized a line of what they called 'un-Islamic' children's toys that feature rainbow patterns similar to LGBT flags.

    The small oil-rich peninsula will host next year's football World Cup, and despite repeated assertions by authorities that anyone will be welcome to visit for the tournament, homosexuality remains illegal in the conservative Muslim emirate.

    The line of rainbow coloured children's toys were confiscated from stores, with officials saying they were contrary to 'Islamic values'.

    The ministry of commerce and industry 'carried out inspection campaigns on several retail outlets in different regions across Qatar', it said on Twitter.

    In November, the English Football Association assured LGBTQ fans that they would be welcome in the country for the World Cup, with Qatar appearing to soften its anti-LGBTQ stance for the tournament, saying rainbow flags would be permitted.

    But there are fears over possible repercussions for LGBT Qataris – who may display such flags during the tournament – once the World Cup has ended.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  December 21, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Tech billionaire resigns from Mormon church and donates $600,000 to LGBTQ+ group

    Tech executive Jeff Green wrote: "I believe the Mormon Church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights."

    Green pledged $600,000 to Equality Utah. "Almost half of the fund will go to a new scholarship program to help LGBTQ+ students in Utah," the billionaire said.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2019 said it would allow children of LGBTQ+ parents to be baptized and receive blessings from the church, in a reversal of a 2015 decision.

    The church announced then that same-sex marriages would not be considered apostasy. Instead, any "immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way."

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 21, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Cuba: Congress Unanimously Approves Marriage Equality

    Congreso de Cuba Aprueba Matrimonio Igualitario por Unanimidad

    El 21 de diciembre 2021, la Asamblea Nacioal de Cuba aprobó por unanimidad un nuevo “Proyecto de Código de Familias” que incluye el matrimonio igualitario. Pasará a consulta popular primero (del 1ro de febrero al 30 abril) y a referendo después, antes de volver al parlamento unicameral para su aprobación definitiva.

    On 21 December 2021, the National Assembly of Cuba unanimously approved a new "Family Code Bill" that includes marriage equality. It will first go to a popular consultation (from 1 February to 30 April) and then to a referendum, before returning to the unicameral parliament for its final approval.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  December 22, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Saudi Arabia's top religious body declares homosexuality 'one of the most heinous crimes' and gay people 'a disgrace in this world and the next'

    In a statement released today, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said the kingdom, which hosts Islam's two holiest sites, categorically rejects homosexuality, even as Riyadh seeks to transform its ultraconservative image amid a modernisation drive.

    His comments came after Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi expressed reservations over a UN General Assembly draft on democracy that included the terms 'sexual orientation and gender identity'.

    Saudi Arabia is widely regarded as having one of the worst LGBT+ rights records in the world, frequently punishing people for homosexuality.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  December 22, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    New Hampshire community supports children’s drag show after it was protested by a recognized neo-Nazi group

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire community is supporting a children’s drag show after it was protested by a recognized neo-Nazi group last weekend.

    “Honey Punch and Pals” was set to perform at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre, on Saturday, Dec. 18, when a complaint was filed with the Portsmouth Police Department stating that members of Nationalist Social Club or NSC-131 had shown up outside the theater with offensive signs and chants.

    There were about 20 people outside of the theater, and the group was chanting homophobic and antisemitic slurs at the theater’s artistic directors, Ben Hart and Brandon James.

    Since the Dec. 18 protest, the local community has shown signs of support, posting notes and signs outside the theater and even donating $20,000.

  • 16. VIRick  |  December 22, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    New Jersey Codifies Marriage Equality into State Law

    On Monday, 20 December 2021, the New Jersey House and Senate both passed the marriage equality bill, and Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, is expected to sign it into law.

    The Senate vote was 35-4, with four Republicans opposing, and one not voting. The House passed it by a margin of 53-10, with four abstentions.

  • 17. VIRick  |  December 23, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Current Status of Marriage Equality in Yucatán, December 2021

    Per Cindy Aparicio:

    No nos casamos … Pero sí, logramos que el matrimonio igualitario sea una realidad en Yucatán.

    We are not marrying … But yes, we managed to make marriage equality be a reality in Yucatán.

    Cindy is one of the most astute LGBT marriage equality observers in Yucatán, and will let us know as soon as the first couples are able to marry there without being required to obtain a judicial amparo beforehand.

  • 18. VIRick  |  December 23, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Chile: The Method to the Madness in the Last-Minute Push for Marriage Equality

    A careful study of the of the most important dates in the passage of the marriage equality law, in tandem with the key dates of the presidential run-off election, reveals an astounding fact in that the timing of the passage was insanely close, with no room for error or further delay, but was perfectly executed:

    7 December 2021 – Senate and Chamber of Deputies both pass identical marriage equality bills, completing the legislative process.

    8 December 2021 – Marriage equality bill dispatched to the President for signing.

    9 December 2021 – President Sebastián Piñera signs the bill, promulgating it into law.

    10 December 2021 – Marriage Equality Law published in the Official Gazette of Chile, and thus, to take effect in 90 days from this date.

    19 December 2021 – Run-off election for President, between leftist Gabriel Boric and anti-LGBT ultra-right-winger, José Antonio Kast. Boric won, but . . . continue watching the close timing.

    10 March 2022 – 90 days after publication, Marriage Equality Law is now in effect. First couples can legally marry.

    11 March 2022 – The set date when new President is to be sworn into office.

    So yes, Boric won the presidential run-off, but in the disastrous event that it might have been Kast, almost everyone wanted to ensure that the new marriage equality law would be in effect and operational BEFORE Kast could be sworn in as the new president. And they succeeded in making that happen, by exactly one calendar day.

  • 19. scream4ever  |  December 23, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Kinda like with the DADT repeal during the lame duck session in 2010.

  • 20. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 25, 2021 at 7:09 am


  • 21. VIRick  |  December 25, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Tunisia: Cassation (Appeal) Proceedings to Repeal the Law on Homosexuality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Tunisie : Procédure en Cassation pour Abroger la Loi sur l'Homosexualité

    Jeudi, 16 décembre 2021, un groupe d'avocats, militants des droits humains, et de la communauté LGBT ont déposé un pourvoi en cassation pour faire annuler deux condamnations pour homosexualité dans un pays où elle est encore punie de peines de prison.

    Il s'agit du tout premier pourvoi en cassation contre la loi sur l'homosexualité (punissable jusqu'à 3 ans de prison) dont ses promoteurs espèrent qu'il sera suivi d'autres qui feront jurisprudence et l'abolition de l'article 230 qui criminalise "un choix sexuel entre adultes." Deux hommes, qui ont purgé un an de prison ferme après leur condamnation en juillet 2020, vont en cassation pour s'opposer à "une sentence cruelle et qui va à l'encontre des standards internationaux," a expliqué leur avocate, Hassina Darraji.

    On Thursday, 16 December 2021, a group of lawyers, human rights activists, and members of the LGBT community filed a cassation appeal to overturn two convictions for homosexuality in a country where individuals are still punished with prison terms.

    This is the very first cassation appeal against the law on homosexuality (punishable with up to 3 years in prison) which its promoters hope will be followed by others who will set precedent for jurisprudence and the abolition of Article 230 which criminalizes "a sexual choice between adults." Two men, who have served a year in prison after their conviction in July 2020, are appealing to oppose "a cruel sentence that goes against international standards," explained their lawyer, Hassina Darraji.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  December 25, 2021 at 11:12 am

    LGBT+ students win case against Indiana school district over free speech: Students will be allowed to raise money for a gay-straight alliance

    The American Civil Liberties Union won a court decision on behalf of a group of LGBT+ students at a high school in Indiana to allow them to raise money for a gay-straight alliance.

    The Associated Press reported that US District Judge James Sweeney II granted a preliminary injunction for the group of students at Pendleton Heights High School in Pendleton, Indiana after the principal had barred the group from raising money on bulletin boards or anywhere else on campus.

    “The differential treatment aimed at Pendleton Heights Gay-Straight Alliance by administrators is unwarranted and these students must be treated in the same manner that all other student groups are treated,” Kit Malone, advocacy strategist at ACLU of Indiana, said at the time of the lawsuit’s filing in September.

  • 23. VIRick  |  December 26, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    South Africa: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, LGBTQ Ally, Dies at 90

    The Rev. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who had compared anti-LGBTQ laws and violence to the apartheid laws and violence of his native South Africa, died early Sunday, 26 December 2021, in Cape Town. He was 90.

    Tutu, who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his impassioned campaign against apartheid in South Africa while Nelson Mandela languished in prison, was a moral beacon not only in the deeply troubled South African nation, but also became a tireless advocate for human rights around the globe. The outspoken Tutu was considered South Africa’s conscience by both its Black and white citizens, an enduring testament to his faith and the spirit of reconciliation in that divided nation.

    Between 1990 and 1993, the apartheid system in South Africa was ended through a series of negotiations, and through unilateral steps taken by F.W. de Klerk, the president of South Africa. The negotiations resulted in South Africa’s first non-racial election, which was won by the African National Congress, after which Tutu managed to irritate the ANC government that took power afterward as much as he had angered the apartheid regime previously. As a ranking prelate in the Anglican Church, the Archbishop worked for universal suffrage, equal rights for women, and pressed hard for the recognition of full equality for LGBTQ people:

    “I have to tell you, I cannot keep quiet when people are penalized for something about which they can do nothing. First, gender. When women are excluded, just simply and solely because they are women.

    “But more perniciously, more ghastly, is the fact that people are penalized, killed, all sorts of ghastly things happen to them, simply and solely on the basis of their sexual orientation. I oppose such injustice with the same passion that I opposed apartheid.”

  • 24. VIRick  |  December 27, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    United Arab Emirates Issues First Civil Marriage License for Non-Muslim Couple

    Today, 27 December 2021, a Canadian couple was the first to marry in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi under a new law on the personal status of non-Muslims that had been announced last month. The Gulf state where foreigners comprise about 90 percent of the 10-million population has been amending its laws to make itself more inclusive.

    Civil marriage in the Middle East, the birthplace of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, is uncommon, as marriage is usually conducted under a religious authority of one of the three monotheistic beliefs. In addition to the UAE, civil marriages are also allowed to take place in Tunisia and Algeria.

    While some countries in the region allow civil unions under certain conditions, some only recognize civil marriages conducted abroad (like Israel and Lebanon), while others not at all.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  December 27, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Baby steps

  • 26. VIRick  |  December 27, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Baby steps indeed, as same-sex marriage is simply out-of-the-question until a country has first legalized civil marriage. And the UAE has just done that.

    To date, civil marriage does not yet exist in most Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, and Iran, as well as Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, and Indonesia. Malaysia allows civil marriage for non-Muslims only, while in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Afghanistan it is allowed for foreign citizens only. However, in both Iraq and Turkey, precisely the opposite is the law, as only civil marriages are legal, and religious marriages (of whatever faith) are of no import whatsoever. In addition, in Tunisia and Algeria, where civil marriage is also legal, specially designated notaries at the City Hall Registry Office (Bureau de l'Etat Civil a la Municipalité) perform civil marriages, just as in France.

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  December 27, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    And beyond that, India has one legal subsystem for civil marriage (Special Marriage Act), another legal subsystem for Hindu / Buddhist / Jain / Sikh marriages (Hindu Marriage Act), yet another legal subsystem for Muslim marriages (Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act), still another legal subsystem for Christian marriages (Indian Christian Marriage Act), and a final legal subsystem for Parsi marriages (Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act)!

    No SSM under any of these (yet), but constitutional lawsuits to make that happen are underway:

    As of now, at least eight petitioners have filed PILs in the Delhi High Court regarding the legalisation of same-sex weddings.

  • 28. Randolph_Finder  |  December 29, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Unclear to me which one applies for Jews, Can a Rabbi marry in India?

  • 29. VIRick  |  December 29, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    In addition to all of the above, Indian courts must also take into account both Portuguese and French law, as the laws of those two countries are still applicable to the respective former Portuguese and French territories that India annexed some years ago (that is, whatever laws were in effect up to the date of annexation). Both are strictly codified civil law (similar to India's Special Marriage Act), meaning that neither have the additional, separate religious law, as in the rest of India.

    In particular, former residents from both the former Portuguese and French territories seem to be able to carry their respective Portuguese or French law with them if/when they move to other parts of India. The larger population of Goa, Damão, and Diu, and their proximity to Bombay further means that the Bombay High Court has had to rule on any number of issues pertinent to Portuguese law involving property rights, succession, inheritance, use of alcohol, lack of dietary restrictions (for example, cows are not considered sacred, and pork products are readily consumed with impunity), marriage, divorce, alimony, child support, even use of surnames. In some instances, one or both parties were also Jewish, as Goa has always had a fairly large Jewish population.

    The French do have a peculiar twist to all of this in that they required residents to declare whether they wished to follow French civil law or "traditional" local law (meaning Hindu customary law). Once the declaration had been signed, that would be the law that would govern their behavior. But the Portuguese made no such exception. There, everyone follows one unified civil law. And India has never attempted to apply Indian law to either.

    As a result, one of the more perverse experiences for residents from other parts of India (and from the Persian Gulf) is to vacation in Goa, romp on the beach nearly nude, and indulge in a binge of alcohol consumption while eating whatever cuisine is "forbidden" (be it beef, pork, crustaceans, or all three) back home. Needless to say, the juxtaposition with the rest of India (and most neighboring countries) has provoked numerous lawsuits of all sorts.

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  December 30, 2021 at 8:48 am

    As I understand it, India's religious marriage acts (those other than the Special Marriage Act) are also classified as codified civil law. The situation for those of the Jewish faith in India is classified as uncodified common law. Indian law is remarkably chimeric!

    One might think that the complexity of Indian law would make law students very fearful about their chances of passing the All India Bar Examination, but:

    * The AIBE is an Open book, MCQ – Multiple Choice Question based examination

    * There will be 100 questions of 1 mark each, to be answered in 3 hours and 30 minutes (210 minutes in total)

    * To pass the exam, you will need to score 40% i.e. You will have to correctly answer at least 40 questions

    * There is no negative marking; as long as you have at least 40 correct answers, any number of wrong answers will not affect your scores

    * There is no limitation on the number of attempts an advocate may take to pass the examination

    Since one could randomly answer 100 multiple-choice questions (example: Choose answer 'A' for each of the 100 questions) for an expected score of 20%, the 40% passing score on this 'Open Book' exam is rather easily attained. But despite these cakewalk conditions, the AIBE stilll has a 30% failure rate!

    Requirements for taking the exam include being a citizen of India and being a LL.B. graduate of an Indian law school. If not for these two requirements, I'm pretty sure either VIRick or I could easily pass India's AIBE at any moment just by showing up with an appropriate set of Indian law textbooks and completing the AIBE answer sheet accordingly.

  • 31. Randolph_Finder  |  January 1, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Um. Wow. And I thought the oddities of Louisiana State Law were significant.

  • 32. ianbirmingham  |  December 27, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Christian Photographer Must Accept Gay Weddings, Federal Court Rules

    Photographer Emilee Carpenter of New York State’s Southern Tier region filed a federal lawsuit against the state of New York in April 2021 after she was asked to photograph the weddings of seven same-sex couples. Carpenter stated that the state’s nondiscrimination laws have left her with a choice of either going against her religious beliefs or paying fines up to $100,000 if she refuses to photograph same-sex weddings.

    On December 16th, U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of Western New York, a Barack Obama appointee, ruled that “the Court is not persuaded” by Carpenter’s claims, dismissing them.

    “The crux of Plaintiff’s claims is that her photography is the product of her unique artistic style and vision,” reads Geraci’s ruling. “Thus, an exemption for Plaintiff’s unique, non-fungible services would necessarily undermine, not serve, the State’s purpose, as it would ‘relegate [same-sex couples] to an inferior market’ than that enjoyed by the public at large.”

    “The religious activities occurring at a wedding, whether for a same-sex couple or an opposite-sex couple, are directed at the couple, the friends, the family, and any other invitees in attendance. They are not directed at the caterer, the florist, or the photographer.”

    [Click through for the full text of both the photographer's complaint and the judge's ruling]

  • 33. VIRick  |  December 27, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Switzerland: New Gender Identity Law Based on Self-Determination Set to Go into Effect

    Beginning from 1 January 2022, and based upon the law already passed by the Swiss Parliament on 18 December 2020, Swiss transgender individuals who wish to legally change their gender will be able to do so through self-declaration at a civil registry office. They will not need any court orders, medical letters, or other bureaucratic requirements.

    As of now, many regions in the country require trans people to present a letter from a doctor to change their gender. Some regions even require a person to be undergoing hormone treatments and others go as far as requiring gender-affirming surgery. The main reason for these current discrepancies is due to the fact that decisions are still based on court proceedings that vary from court to court.

    At the moment, name-change procedures can also cost thousands of Swiss francs (CHF). The new law will remove that burden and reduce the price to just 75 CHF (about $82 US).

    Switzerland will become the 8th country across Europe to legalize self-determined gender change, according to advocacy group Transgender Europe. Other European countries that have implemented similar policies are Portugal, Malta, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, and Ireland.

  • 34. VIRick  |  December 28, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Querétaro: Marriage Equality Summary for 2021

    En este año y desde que se aprobó el matrimonio igualitario, en la capital de Querétaro, (Santiago de Querétaro,) se han registrado 13 bodas entre parejas del mismo sexo.

    This year and from since marriage equality was approved, in the capital of Querétaro, (Santiago de Querétaro,) 13 marriages between same-sex couples have been registered.

    The first two same-sex couples to marry in Querétaro, after the marriage equality law took effect, both did so on 3 December 2021 in back-to-back ceremonies at the same civil registry office. The remaining 11 couples all married in rather rapid succession during the 3 weeks since, averaging approximately one such marriage every second day.

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  December 28, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Oklahoma bill lets parents ban LGBTQ books from schools and sue if staff won’t listen. The bill would entitle parents to seek a minimum of $10,000 per day for each day that the book remains on the shelves.

    Republican State Senator Rob Standridge has introduced a bill that would give individual parents the power to demand the removal of any book from school shelves that they believe contains LGBTQ content.

    The bill, SB 1142, states that schools should be banned from carrying texts that cover “the study of sex, sexual preferences, sexual activity, sexual perversion, sex-based classifications, sexual identity, or gender identity or books that are of a sexual nature.”

    It claims these books must be banned because “a reasonable parent or legal guardian would want to know of or approve of [them] prior to their child being exposed to it.”

    According to the bill, school staff would be required to remove any such book within 30 days of a parent’s request. If the staff doesn’t comply, they will be terminated. Not only that, but they’ll be blocked from being hired at any other public school for two years.

    And it gets even wilder.

    The bill would also entitle parents who have requested the removal of a book to seek damages in the amount of a minimum of $10,000 per day for each day the book remains on the shelves.

    Standridge has named specific books that concern him, including “Trans Teen Survival Guide” and “A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns,” calling them “overly sexualized.”

  • 36. VIRick  |  December 31, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Excellent Advice to the Haters and "Busy-Bodies" for 2022 and for Forever Thereafter

    Per José Chaura:

    Tres pasos para que los matrimonios homosexuales no te afecten:

    1. Ten una vida.

    2. Ocúpate de esa vida.

    3. No te metas en vidas ajenas.


    Three steps so that same-sex marriages do not affect you:

    1. Have a life. (Get a life.)

    2. Occupy yourself with that life. (Keep busy with that life.)

    3. Do not insert yourself into the lives of others. (Do not interfere in the lives of others.)


  • 37. Randolph_Finder  |  January 1, 2022 at 10:27 am

    As sort of an interesting point. I was looking at Eurobarometer's 2019 survey on LGBTI rights. ( They survey 32 countries of those, exactly half have marriage Equality. (Switzerland, Turkey, Russia and Former Yugoslavia (other than Slovenia & Croatia) aren't covered by this survey.)

    The 16 countries that do best (>=70%) on the question of "Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual People should have the same rights as Heterosexual people" are the 16 nations that have Marriage Equality. Among those that don't, if Marriage Equality comes in order of the support on the question, the next countries in Europe with Marriage Equality will be Italy (68%), Greece (64%), Slovenia (64%), Cyprus (63%) and Czechia (57%). Not quite the list of countries with some level of Partnership law, but close.

  • 38. scream4ever  |  January 1, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    God it pisses me off how Slovenia refuses to move on this issue.

  • 39. Randolph_Finder  |  January 1, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Well, I don't think you can blame the politicians on this one. Are there any other countries that had a legislature vote for Marriage Equality and then it overriden in a referendum?

  • 40. scream4ever  |  January 1, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    I mean they should push for a judicial case as a path for legalization.

  • 41. VIRick  |  January 1, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    Switzerland: Foreign LGBT Marriages Now Officially Recognized as Marriages

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Effective from today, 1 January 2022, the Swiss government began the official recognition of foreign LGBT marriages as marriages, and will no longer effectively "downgrade" them to only being recognized as civil partnerships. On this same date, the new Swiss gender identity law based solely upon self-determination also went into effect.

    Domestic same-sex civil marriages will begin being performed at civil registries within Switzerland starting from 1 July 2022. On this latter date, same-sex couples will also be able to begin the process of converting their pre-existing civil partnerships to marriages and will be able to legally begin the process of adopting.

    Civil partnerships will be phased out after 30 June 2022. Although pre-existing civil partnerships can continue after that date, once marriage equality comes into effect, no new civil partnerships will be legally permitted to take place.–n

    In the snail-paced race between Switzerland and Chile, as of today, Switzerland won the race as to the official recognition of foreign LGBT marriages as marriages, given that Chile still continues to recognize such foreign marriages as AUCs (civil union agreements). However, from 10 March 2022, Chile will have won the race in every other aspect.

  • 42. Randolph_Finder  |  January 1, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    If a Swiss same sex couple in a civil partnership goes across the border into a nation willing to marry two non-nationals gets married and comes back, can they jump the line rather than having to wait for 1 July?

  • 43. VIRick  |  January 1, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    I have pondered the same question. Although I have not yet seen a definitive answer to it in a third-party news article, to me, the answer would seem to be "Yes," assuming a near-by country is willing. Belgium will definitely marry two same-sex non-nationals (after 3 months' residency), and so will Ireland (with 3 months' notification), plus neighboring Austria and near-by Sweden (both without specific residency requirements, although Sweden would require translated documents).

    However, Spain, France, Germany, and Luxembourg all require at least one person of the couple intending on marrying to be a long-term (meaning 2-3 years) resident, although for France, parental residency (of any one of the 4 parents) would also qualify the intending couple. The Netherlands and Denmark require at least one person of the couple to be a citizen.

    So, for a Swiss same-sex couple seeking to marry, Austria appears to be the closest, and most-likely venue. In addition, for the bulk of the Swiss population, the language is the same, so documents do not need to be translated.

    Here is the official Austrian government web-site, with further details concerning both Vienna and Salzburg:

    This little research exercise also explains why, within the last three years, since shortly after 1 January 2019, Israeli same-sex couples have shifted their focus from marrying in Belgium to marrying in Austria, given the lack of specific residency requirements in the latter.

  • 44. Randolph_Finder  |  January 2, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    I can see why Austria would be preferred. And even for those that are French speaking living as far from Austria as possible, it wouldn't be too bad to get to Salzburg.

    Is there any sort of similar issue with foreign recognition vs. marriage in country for Chile?

  • 45. Randolph_Finder  |  January 2, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    If Cuba goes as expected, the country will go from *zero* legal recognition of Same Sex relationships to allowing Marriage. Have *any* of the other countries that now have Marriage Equality followed that path?

  • 46. VIRick  |  January 2, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Be cautious regarding positive speculation about Cuba, and that the process there will run its course smoothly, (although, this time, hopefully, it actually will.) The usual suspects are already out there performing in full attack mode, publicly ranting and raving in total outrage, no doubt impressed with their own previous success two years ago in keeping marriage equality out of the new constitution:

    Per Fuerza Panameña LGBTIQ:

    En Cuba, el arzobispo de Santiago de Cuba arremetió contra el matrimonio igualitario, argumentandose que dos hombres pueden quererse, pero que nunca serán familia porque no pueden engendrar.

    In Cuba, the archbishop of Santiago de Cuba attacked against marriage equality, arguing that two men can love each other, but that they will never be a family because they cannot bear children.

    And there is that word again, "meter," the base for "arremetió," and #3 in the admonition from up above:

    "No te metas en vidas ajenas," that is, "Do not insert yourself in other people's lives," but they do it anyway because they simply can not help themselves.

    In our local Spanglish Creole, we use the word constantly, "Basta meté" (Enough meddling), a slightly more polite way to tell someone to shut up.

    And as further proof that the archbishop is wrong, and has no idea what he is ranting about, the very next post, the first one in the new thread, announces the fact that homoparental adoption for couples in Chile has already begun.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!