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1/11 open thread and some SCOTUS news


– This week the Supreme Court issued orders from its first private conference since its break, and the Court still has not taken any action in deciding whether to hear 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a case in which a wedding website designer refuses to design sites for same-sex couples.

This is an open thread.


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 11, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    New Hampshire Begins Process to Ban "Gay Panic" Defense

    New Hampshire has taken another step closer in joining more than 12 other states that have prohibited criminal defendants accused of manslaughter from referring to the victim’s gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation as a defense.

    On Thursday, 6 January 2022, the New Hampshire House voted 223-118 to outlaw this so-called “gay panic" defense, according to the Associated Press. Supporters of the ban said that defendants have used it in other parts of the country to excuse their murder of LGBTQ people.

    The bill will now go to the state Senate for a vote.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 11, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    Yucatán: Tomorrow Supreme Court to Discuss Amparo Concerning Marriage Equality

    Per Haz Ruido:

    Mañana, el 12 de enero 2022, la Suprema Corte discutirá el amparo sobre matrimonio igualitario. Pese a que el tema ya fue aprobado por el Congreso de Yucatán en agosto pasado, falta cambiar el Código de la Familia para que las parejas del mismo sexo puedan casarse.

    Tomorrow, 12 January 2022, the Supreme Court will discuss the amparo on marriage equality. Despite the fact that the issue was already approved by the Yucatán Congress in August 2021, the Family Code needs to change so that same-sex couples can marry.

    Per Enrique Torre Molina:

    Este 12 de enero, la SCJN resolverá el amparo que presentaron en 2019 por organizaciones LGBTQ y de derechos humanos contra la negativa de Congreso de Yucatán a legislar sobre matrimonio igualitario.

    On 12 January, the SCJN will resolve the amparo filed in 2019 by LGBTQ and human rights organizations against the refusal of the Yucatán Congress to legislate on marriage equality.

    Per Carla Escoffié:

    Mañana, la SCJN resolverá si ordenar al Congreso de Yucatán reformar el Código Civil para permitir el matrimonio igualitario en Yucatán. Aunque ya se reformó la Constitución, las parejas siguen sin poder casarse porque no se ha adecuado el Código Civil.

    Tomorrow, the SCJN will decide whether to order the Congress of Yucatán to reform the Civil Code to allow marriage equality in Yucatán. Although the Constitution has already been amended, couples are still unable to marry because the Civil Code has not been adapted.

  • 3. VIRick  |  January 11, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    Venezuela: Opposition Wins Governorship of Barinas State

    On Sunday, 9 January 2022, voters in Barinas, the home state of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chávez, picked an opposition candidate for governor in a closely-watched special election called after the original contender representing the opposition in the regular contest last November was retroactively disqualified after he was ahead in the vote count.

    Sergio Garrido has just defeated former foreign minister Jorge Arreaza, whose campaign drew ruling party heavy hitters in an all-out effort to keep the bastion of Chavismo under their control. The candidates campaigned for roughly five weeks after the country’s highest court disqualified opposition candidate Freddy Superlano, resulting in this special election being scheduled.

    Results published by the National Electoral Council showed Garrido, a local leader unknown to most of the country, with 55.4% of the votes, while Arreaza received 41.3%. Arreaza conceded defeat on social media even before officials released the results.

    The incumbent governor, who chose not to seek re-election, was Argenis Chávez, one of Hugo Chávez’s brothers, while Jorge Arreaza is Chávez’s son-in-law. Someone from the Chávez family had been governor of Barinas state, without respite, since 1998.

    Barinas state is in the interior of western Venezuela, extending from the high cordillera abutting Mérida state eastward onto the llanos and the Orinoco River drainage system.

  • 4. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 12, 2022 at 6:16 am

    Pope Reassigns Official Thought to Be Behind Vatican’s Blessing Ban

    “Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, the number two official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was reassigned by Pope Francis to now be head of the Italian Diocese of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla.

    “America reported further: ‘The move amounts to a demotion since Morandi currently has the title of archbishop, yet is heading to a small diocese, not an archdiocese. . .’

    “Perhaps more significant is the possibility that Morandi’s removal opens up. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s leadership is now left with its prefect, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, who is well past retirement age at 78, and two adjunct secretaries, one of whom is retiring. The other adjunct secretary, however, is Malta’s Archbishop Charles Scicluna, a close ally of the pope with a positive record on LGBTQ issues. Some observers speculate that, with Ladaria retiring and Morandi now removed, the pathway is set for Scicluna to head up the doctrinal office.

    “Much of what Vatican observers and journalists do is, at some level, read tea leaves. Why something does or does not happen in the labyrinthine world of the Curia is complex to discern. Pope Francis certainly keeps Catholics alert with his willingness to make bold changes without notice. It is hard to know what to make of the Morandi situation or predict the next events. Stay tuned, however, because any curial changes in 2022 could be critical for LGBTQ people.”

    —Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, January 12, 2022

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 12, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Guanajuato: First Same-Sex Couple Marries in Irapuato without Needing Amparo

    Se casa la primera pareja LGBT en Irapuato sin trabas legales ni gubernamentales. El primer matrimonio igualitario en Irapuato fue el de una pareja de hombres que se tuvo sin necesidad de interponer un amparo.

    Haciendo valer su derecho, la pareja llegó la mañana del lunes, el 10 de enero 2022, a las oficinas del Registro Civil de la ciudad de Irapuato. Lo hicieron acompañados de familiares y amigos donde concretaron su unión civil.

    The first LGBT couple marries in Irapuato without legal or governmental obstacles. The first equal marriage in Irapuato was that of a male couple that took place without their needing to file an amparo.

    Asserting their rights, the couple arrived on Monday morning, 10 January 2022, at the offices of the Civil Registry in the city of Irapuato. They did so accompanied by family and friends where they solomnized their civil union.

    Actually, this is the first equal marriage to have occurred in Guanajuato state since the governmental decree allowing such was issued by the Government Secretary on 20 December 2021. So, Guanajuato state was able to implement its decree faster than was Zacatecas state able to implement its law of 14 December 2021 allowing the same. However, it helped that this unnamed couple had begun the process of obtaining a judicial amparo in October 2021, but then abandoned that process when the decree was issued. Instead, they immediately applied for the first available time-slot for a civil marriage ceremony at the Civil Registry in Irapuato, an act that was completed on 10 January.

  • 6. VIRick  |  January 12, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Yucatán: Supreme Court Delays Ruling on Amparo against State Congress

    Per Colectivo PTF Yucatán:

    SCJN Demora Fallo Sobre Amparo en Contra del Congreso de Yucatán

    El Congreso de Yucatán y el Gobierno de Mauricio Vila están a tiempo de eliminar la discriminación en el acceso al matrimonio igualitario a parejas del mismo género.

    The Congress of Yucatán and the Government of Mauricio Vila have time to eliminate the discrimination in access to marriage equality for same-gender couples.

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 13, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    France, Greece to End Restrictions on MSM Blood Donors

    This week, both France and Greece announced they will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood without restrictions.

    Têtu, a French LGBTQ magazine, noted that men who have sex with men previously had to remain abstinent for four months before they could donate blood in France. On Tuesday, 11 January 2022, French Health Minister Olivier Véran announced that this requirement would no longer be in place as of 16 March. Têtu also noted that officials will no longer ask potential blood donors about their sexual orientation.

    On Monday, 10 January, Greece also said it would allow MSM to donate blood without restrictions. Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris and Deputy Health Minister Mina Gaga issued a decree that will become official once the Government Gazette publishes it.

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 14, 2022 at 7:09 am

    Cuba: Message from the President, Re: New Family Code and Marriage Equality

    Per Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Presidente de la República de Cuba:

    Publicado en la Gaceta Oficial el proyecto de Código de las Familias, aprobado por Asamblea de Cuba y que será sometido a consulta popular para continuar enriqueciéndolo. Los invito a estudiarlo y a sumarnos a ese canto por los derechos de todas y todos.

    The proposed Family Code, approved by the Cuban Assembly, has been published in the Official Gazette and will be submitted to popular consultation in order to continue enriching it. I invite you to study it and to join us in this chorus for the rights of all.

    The proposed Family Code has 3 more steps to complete before it can be implemented:
    1. Public consultations (1 February-30 April)
    2. Final approval by Cuban National Assembly (likely in June or July)
    3. Referendum (likely in September or October)

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 14, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Panamá: New Chief Justice of Supreme Court Elected

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    La comunidad LGBTIQ de Panamá espera que con la llegada de la magistrada María Eugenia López a la presidencia de la Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ), haya una respuesta en torno a los casos de matrimonio civil entre parejas del mismo sexo.

    Por más de un lustro, cuatro parejas han estado a la expectativa, luego de interponer recursos de inconstitucionalidad contra los artículos del Código de la Familia que prohíben el matrimonio civil entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Linx Arango Schmitt, director de la Fundación Iguales, considera que la elección de una nueva presidenta es una oportunidad clave para hacer justicia para las parejas del mismo sexo, que desde 2016 aguardan por el reconocimiento de su matrimonio civil.

    The LGBTIQ community in Panamá hopes that with the arrival of Justice María Eugenia López to the presidency of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), there will be an answer regarding the cases of civil marriage between same-sex couples.

    For more than five years, four couples have been waiting, after having filed appeals of unconstitutionality against the articles of the Family Code that prohibit civil marriage between persons of the same sex.

    Linx Arango Schmitt, director of Fundación Iguales, considers that the election of a new president is a key opportunity to do justice for same-sex couples, who since 2016 have been waiting for the recognition of their civil marriages.

    Although left unsaid, a fact of equal importance, if not more so, is that as of 1 January 2022, Luis Ramón Fábrega, the Justice of the Supreme Court under whose charge the marriage equality decision remains without resolution, has departed from the bench.

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