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Prop 8 proponents ask Supreme Court to take up case over release of trial tapes

Prop 8

Via Equality Case Files, the proponents of Prop 8 in California are asking the Supreme Court to hear the challenge over the release of the tapes from the federal district court trial.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that the Prop 8 proponents lacked Article III standing in the case because they were not injured by the judge’s order allowing release of the trial tapes. The proponents then asked the Ninth Circuit to hear the case en banc, that is, with a larger panel of Ninth Circuit judges. The en banc petition was denied on December 28 according to the petition, leading to the request filed in the Supreme Court.

The proponents argue that they have standing, that “principles of judicial integrity” require the Court to step in to block the release of the tapes because the trial judge had made certain representations about their use, and the release of the tapes “justfies” the Supreme Court’s “supervisory” power over the lower courts.

The response from the other parties is due April 29. It takes four votes to grant review in a case.


  • 1. VIRick  |  March 30, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Arizona, Oklahoma Governors Sign Anti-Trans School Sports Bans into Law

    On 30 March 2022, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed into law two bills restricting the rights of transgender youth, while Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed one.

    Arizona Senate Bill 1138, bans gender-affirming surgery for trans minors, and the other, Arizona Senate Bill 1165, bars trans girls and women from participating in female sports in grades K-12 and in state colleges and universities, whether in public schools or private ones, whose students or teams compete against public schools. Both bills were approved by the Arizona House last week and had previously been passed by the Senate.

    On the same date, Ducey also signed a bill into law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, except in medical emergencies, and provides for felony charges against doctors who perform them. Mississippi has adopted a similar law; a challenge to it was heard recently in the US Supreme Court, which is expected to issue a decision on its constitutionality in the spring.

    Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, Stitt signed an anti-trans sports bill into law, following its final approval by legislators last week. The sports legislation in Oklahoma is similar to that enacted in Arizona, negatively affecting trans females in both public schools and private schools that compete against them, and extending to state colleges and universities.

    Oklahoma and Arizona join Iowa, South Dakota, and Utah in enacting anti-trans sports laws this year; in Utah, legislators overrode Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto. The governor of Indiana also vetoed such legislation. In the previous two years, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia have adopted similarly exclusionary laws. Governors in Kansas, Louisiana, and North Dakota vetoed bills of this kind last year. The Idaho and West Virginia laws are temporarily blocked by court orders while lawsuits against them proceed.

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 31, 2022 at 8:43 am

    US State Dept.: Gender "X" Marker on Passports Available from 11 April 2022

    On 31 March 2022, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that passports with an “X” gender marker will be available from 11 April 2022.

    In 2015, Dana Zzyym, an intersex US Navy veteran who identifies as non-binary, filed a federal lawsuit against the US State Department after it denied their application for a passport with an “X” gender marker. In October 2021, Zzyym received the first gender-neutral US passport. It will now become generally available upon request.

  • 3. VIRick  |  March 31, 2022 at 8:56 am

    US Homeland Security: TSA to Begin Using Gender-Neutral Scanning Equipment

    On 31 March 2022, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will be implementing new measures to make airport security screening better for transgender people. Currently, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanners often cause false positives when it comes to transgender people since it is gender-based; TSA workers enter the passenger’s gender into the machine before a person is scanned based on their visual assessment.

    “By replacing the current, gender-based AIT system, this new, more accurate technology will also advance civil rights and improve the customer experience of travelers who previously have been required to undergo additional screening due to alarms in sensitive areas,” DHS said in a statement. “TSA will begin deploying this new technology in airports throughout the country later this year.”

    TSA PreCheck will also start including an "X" gender marker option this year, and DHS said that it will work with airlines to promote the acceptance of "X" gender markers, something that has made travel difficult for some non-binary people.

  • 4. VIRick  |  March 31, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    Florida: Federal Lawsuit Filed against "Don't Say Gay" Law

    On 31 March 2022, the first federal lawsuit was filed against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. Lawyers with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the firm of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP filed the suit in US District Court for the Northern District of Florida on behalf of Equality Florida and Family Equality, as well as students, parents, and a teacher.

    House Bill 1557 was signed into law on 28 March 2022 by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). It bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3 and requires that any mention in higher grades be “age-appropriate.” The suit, "Equality Florida v. De Santis," quite appropriately names DeSantis as the lead defendant, along with the Florida State Board of Education and the state's Department of Education, plus several county school boards.

    The press release states: “HB 1557 harms LGBTQ people — and violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution — by discriminatorily censoring classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida public schools, not only for grades K-3, but for any grade as long as someone concludes that the discussion is somehow not ‘age-appropriate.’ The law deliberately employs broad and vague terms, inviting arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement by parents, who are designated as roving censors and empowered to sue local school boards for damages based on any violation.”

    The complete court filing is here:

  • 5. JayJonson  |  April 1, 2022 at 8:50 am

    I am glad that Roberta Kaplan is on the case!

  • 6. VIRick  |  March 31, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Chile: First Equal Marriage in Pudahuel

    Per Diego de Pudahuel:

    Ayer, 30 de marzo 2022, contraté matrimonio (igualitario) civil, y en la oficina de Huérfanos no tenían la foto de Gabriel Boric, el Presidente.

    Yesterday, 30 March 2022, I contracted a civil (equal) marriage, and in the Huérfanos office they did not have a photo of President Gabriel Boric.

    Pudahuel is the westernmost municipality comprising the Santiago Metropolitan Region and the location of the Santiago International Airport. Because of stringent building restrictions within the Pudahuel/Maipú/San Bernardo wine production zones, the urban spread from Santiago to the west and to the south has been curtailed. And because of the ever-present earthquake threat, high-rises are banned. As a result, Santiago is forced to expand in a low-rise fashion, but can only do so toward the east and north.

  • 7. VIRick  |  April 1, 2022 at 5:48 pm

    Netherlands: 21st Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Gustavo Perrito:

    El 1 de Abril de 2001, Países Bajos se convirtió en el primer país del mundo en legalizar el matrimonio igualitario. El reconocimiento del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo es un derecho humano, un derecho civil, y un acto político, social, y religioso del siglo XXI.

    On 1 April 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize marriage equality. The recognition of same-sex marriage is a human right, a civil right, and a political, social, and religious act of the 21st century.

  • 8. VIRick  |  April 1, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Latvia: Civil Unions Bill Advances in Parliament

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Civil Unions bill advanced to committee stage in Parliament; it allows property and relationship rights, but not tax/inheritance rights, which may be added later in amendments.

    On Thursday, 31 March 2022, the Latvian Saeima submitted to committees the legislative draft prepared by the Ministry of Justice, which provides for the registration of new forms of civil unions between adults, including the option to register same-sex relationships.

    The ministry prepared the legislative draft in response to the 2020 ruling of the Constitutional Court in the case regarding the birth of a child during (an overseas) vacation. The court ruled that the Constitution provides a duty for the legislature to ensure legal protection of same-sex families, including the duty of the legislature to provide such families a legal way to register their relations and be recognized as a family by the state.

    In the meantime, nearly 10,000 Ukrainian refugees have received residence and work permits in Latvia.

  • 9. VIRick  |  April 1, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    India: Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Parliament

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 1 April 2022, Supriya Sule, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP introduced a private member bill in the Lok Sabha seeking to legalize same-sex marriage and to provide the same legal rights for married LGBTQIA couples to which heterosexual couples are currently entitled.

    The bill introduced by Sule, a parliamentarian from Maharashtra, proposes to amend the Special Marriage Act, 1954, to solemnize such marriages, and to fix the age of marriage at 21 years if both parties are men and at 18 years if both parties are women. It also proposes to replace the words "husband and wife" with "spouse" by amending various sections of the Act.

    The bill is here:

  • 10. VIRick  |  April 1, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    India: Delhi High Court to Hear Marriage Equality Demands on 17 May 2022

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 31 March 2022, the Delhi High Court agreed to hear a batch of petitions on 17 May pertaining to the demand for recognition of same-sex marriage. A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla will also make a decision on whether live streaming of the proceedings will occur.

    The court has been hearing a number of petitions filed by same-sex couples who are looking for a declaration that recognizes their marriages under the Special, the Hindu, and the Foreign Marriage Acts.

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

    Iowa Supreme Court Issues Major Transgender Rights Ruling

    On 1 April 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled to uphold most of a 2019 jury verdict that decided that the state had discriminated against a transgender state prison nurse when it would not allow him to use the men’s locker rooms or restrooms at the facility. The prison also denied him access to gender-affirming surgery because of his gender identity.

    The court’s decision to recognize gender identity discrimination is a huge victory for LGBTQ advocates. The decision is also a win for Jesse Vroegh, the former nurse at Iowa’s Mitchellville Prison for Women. The jury awarded him $120,000 in damages for emotional distress, and the high court upheld that award, as well as the payment of $348,000 to cover his attorneys' fees.

  • 12. VIRick  |  April 2, 2022 at 11:09 pm

    UK Embassy in Caracas: First Equal Marriage in Venezuela

    Per Yendri Velásquez:

    El 1 de abril 2022, la Embajada de Reino Unido en Venezuela celebró la unión civil (matrimonio igualitario) de dos hombres, en una ceremonia que estuvo oficiada por la Encargada de Negocios, Becks Buckingham.

    La diplomática, que publicó fotografías del evento en sus redes sociales, expresó que fue un “honor y privilegio” haber tenido la oportunidad de oficializar la unión de esta pareja desde la Residencia Británica en Caracas; un acto de gran simbolismo considerando que en Venezuela no son reconocidos los derechos de las personas LGBTIQ.

    On 1 April 2022, the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Venezuela celebrated the civil union (equal marriage) of two men in a ceremony that was officiated by the Chargé d'Affaires, Becks Buckingham.

    The diplomat, who published photos of the event on her social networks, expressed that it was an "honor and privilege" to have had the opportunity to formalize the union of this couple from the British Residence in Caracas; an act of great symbolism considering that in Venezuela the rights of LGBTIQ people are not recognized.

    This was the first equal marriage to have occurred at the British Embassy in Caracas, as well as being the first to have taken place within Venezuela, and involved a male same-sex couple, one of whom is a UK citizen, with the other being a Venezuelan citizen.

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  April 3, 2022 at 3:16 am

    Memo Circulated To Florida Teachers Lays Out Clever Sabotage Of 'Don't Say Gay' Law

    Since it’s now illegal to address gender identity or sexual orientation issues in schools for students from kindergarten through third grade, the letter recommends referring to all students as “they” and “them” to avoid “gendered pronouns” like “he” and “she”.

    Also, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” should clearly be dropped for all teachers to conform with the law, the letter argues.

    [Furthermore, the law now requires the removal of all books containg the words "he", "she", "mother", "father", "husband" or "wife", as these are gender identities that may also allude to sexual orientation.]

    [In addition, bathrooms can no longer be labeled with gendered terms like "boys", "girls", "men" or "women", because gender identity is a prohibited topic.]

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 3, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    More Thoughts for Sabotage in Florida

    What if the signage only alludes to the possibility of something being gendered, like labeling school bathroom doors "with" and "without," leaving the rest of the imagery to be completed by the user's imagination? That would be less risqué than signage proclaiming, "hanging out" and "hiding inside."

    Or what about "standing room available" and "sitting room only?" That merely alludes to the type of accommodation provided inside the facility itself.

  • 15. Fortguy  |  April 3, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Cute, but also missing the point. Your suggestions are based upon biological functionality rather than gender identity. A trans boy can't "stand" gracefully while doing "number one" because no respectable doctor will perform the necessary reassignment surgery to do so until the trans boy is able to give consent to the procedure as a legal adult.

  • 16. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 3, 2022 at 4:18 am

    Let's hope this case doesn't get appealed and accepted by SCOUS. I believe the present court would reverse this 10th circuit decision.

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  April 3, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Hungary's authoritarian leader and longtime Russian ally, Viktor Orban, has declared victory in the country's parliamentary elections

    Orban's Fidesz party had a commanding lead with 71% of the votes counted, Hungary's national elections board said on Sunday evening.

    Orban has gained close control of Hungary's judiciary, media and education institutions during his 12-year stint in power, which is now set to be extended until 2026. He has pushed legislation targeting migrants and the LGBTQ+ community, and has spoken of his intention to build an "illiberal" state within the EU.

    Even before the invasion, Orban had a thorny relationship with the EU. His government has been lambasted by senior figures in the bloc over rule of law issues; earlier this year, Europe's top court allowed the EU to block funding to Hungary and Poland for violating democratic rights.

    A referendum was also held on Sunday on Orban's controversial law that bans educational materials and programs for children that are considered to promote homosexuality and gender reassignment.

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  April 4, 2022 at 6:15 am

    Hungary's vile LGBT+ propaganda referendum fails as despot Orbán wins fourth term

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  April 4, 2022 at 6:18 am

    Hungary's anti-LGBTQ referendum fails to become binding as Viktor Orbán wins election

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's national referendum on LGBTQ rights failed to get enough votes to become binding.

    Note: A joint statement from 10 Hungarian LGBT and human rights groups including Budapest Pride and Amnesty International Hungary called for citizens to give invalid answers to the referendum, circling both "yes" and "no" for every question to "help ensure that the government’s exclusionary referendum does not reach the validity threshold."

  • 20. VIRick  |  April 4, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Bolivia: The Safe-House, La Casa Trans, Opens in La Paz

    Per Noel Fuentes:

    El 1 de abril 2022, se llevó acabo la inauguración de la Casa Trans Pamela Valenzuela en la cuidad de La Paz.

    The inauguration of the Casa Trans Pamela Valenzuela in the city of La Paz took place on 1 April 2022.

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