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7/26 open thread


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23 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. VIRick  |  July 26, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    Durango Congress Suspends Session Discussing Marriage Equality

    Suspenden sesión extraordinaria del Congreso de Durango programada para este martes, 26 de julio, en donde se discutiría el matrimonio igualitario y la designación de titulares de la CEDH Durango. Será el 1 de septiembre cuando se realice la sesión.

    The extraordinary session of the Congress of Durango scheduled for this Tuesday, 26 July, where marriage equality and the designation of members to the CEDH Durango were to be discussed, is suspended. The session will now take place on 1 September.

  • 2. VIRick  |  July 26, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Latest Up-Dated Marriage Equality Map of Latin America

    Here is the most-recent up-dated map of Latin America identifying all of the independent nations in the region that have either legalized marriage equality, allow civil unions for same-sex couples, or that are in the process of doing so.

    Per DW Español:

    In any event, it is heartening to note that DW Español is now in agreement with the fact that once approved, Cuba will become independent Latin nation #9 with marriage equality.

  • 3. Randolph_Finder  |  July 26, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    Any chance of any independent nation in the Americas getting there before Cuba (if Cuba stays on the expected path)?

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 26, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    At any moment, there is always the possibility that the Supreme Court of Panamá could stun us with a long-overdue positive ruling in favor of marriage equality. At the same time, the Constitutional Tribunal of Bolivia could also surprise us with a further positive ruling for marriage equality, and not just for civil union (unión libre). Both nations are subject to the CIDH marriage equality ruling, OC 24/17.

    Throughout Latin America, many courts are notorious for sitting on complicated or controversial cases for what seems like an endless number of years before finally issuing a ruling, a factor that makes it extremely difficult to speculate regarding the timing of any such possible decision.

  • 5. DevilWearsZrada  |  July 27, 2022 at 9:49 am

    In the light of these developments I think that this or the next two years would be just the right time for Californians to finally repeal Proposition 8. For the last ten years it hasn't been considered because of the achieved court victories, so why it shouldn't be done if we already got in this post-Dobbs reality?

  • 6. scream4ever  |  July 27, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    Plus given the Democratic supermajorites in both chambers of the California legislature they could easily place it on the ballot without the need for gathering signatures.

  • 7. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 27, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Ian thank you for a very precise explanation of what could and could not be achieved by the Marriage Equality Act.

    Could it ever come to one state saying if such and such state won't recognize our legal same-sex marriages, we won't recognize any of their marriages–including straight ones?

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  July 27, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    That can't happen, because straight marriages would (presumably) still be legal within both states. Refusing recognition under those conditions would blatantly violate the US Constitution's 'Full Faith and Credit' provision, and would therefore be unconstitutional.

  • 9. VIRick  |  July 27, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    Thailand: House Committee to Allow Foreign Same-Sex Couples to Register Partnerships

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 27 July 2022, the Thai House committee vetting the Civil Partnership Bill decided to amend the bill to make it possible for same-sex couples who are both foreigners to register their partnership in Thailand, instead of one of them having to be a Thai national.

    Spokesperson for the House scrutiny panel, Thanikarn Pornpongsarote, said that the committee decided to entirely scrap Section 8 of the bill, which stipulates that one of the same-sex couples who are eligible to register their partnership must be a Thai national. The deletion of the clause means that the door is now open for same-sex couples who are both non-Thais to register their union, which can help boost tourism, said Thanikarn.

    The Civil Partnership Bill was proposed by the Ministry of Justice to allow same-sex couples to register their partnerships. The bill also introduces amendments to the Civil and Commercial codes, which will give them almost the same rights as straight couples. The civil partners may adopt children, secure inheritance, and engage in the joint management of assets. The bill also includes rules on separations. But the union is still not legally recognized as a marriage.

    The other bill, the Marriage Equality Bill, proposed by the Move Forward party, was also endorsed in its first reading by the Lower House on the same day, 15 June. The bill allows marriage registration, regardless of gender. It proposes a change of terminology, defining marriage as a union between two persons, instead of between a man and a woman, and uses the term of spouse, instead of husband and wife. The bill guarantees their rights to child adoption, healthcare consent, property co-management, and inheritance.

  • 10. VIRick  |  July 28, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Michigan Supreme Court Rules that State Civil Rights Law Protects LGBTQ Citizens

    On 28 July 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court said that the state's anti-discrimination law covers sexual orientation, a major victory for LGBTQ residents. The court, in a 5-2 opinion, said that the word “sex” in Michigan's key civil rights law applies to sexual orientation and not just to gender.

    While the Legislature in 1976 might have intended to help women when it barred discrimination based on sex, “this motivation does not curtail other applications of the plain statutory language,” Judge Elizabeth Clement wrote for the majority. She noted that the law has been applied in pregnancy discrimination cases, same-sex sexual harassment complaints, and disputes over retirement accounts.

    The court is “bound by the language that the Legislature has enacted, not what the parties … believe the Legislature should have enacted or what any individual representative believed was enacted,” Clement said.

    The case at hand originated from a 2019 incident wherein which a private event center in Sturgis, named Rouch World, declined to host a same-sex wedding, saying it conflicted with the owner’s religious beliefs. Democratic Attorney-General Dana Nessel, who is gay, favorably argued the state's case against Rouch World at the Michigan Supreme Court.

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  July 29, 2022 at 12:33 am

    Attorneys General Of 22 Republican States Sue Biden Administration In Bid To Ban Gay & Transgender Students From Participating In Federal School Lunch Program

    The directive by the Agriculture Department required school districts and states that wished to receive funds allocated for the National School Lunch Program to interpret Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational settings, to include gender identity and sexual orientation under the term "sex," as was done by the Supreme Court in the 2020 case Bostock v. Clayton County, which expanded the definition of sex in employment law to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

    "Enforcement of the USDA's memoranda … could cause plaintiff states to lose significant federal funds from the USDA," the lawsuit says.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  July 29, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Court rules Orthodox Jewish university must recognize LGBTQ student club

    The New York County Supreme Court has ruled that Yeshiva University must allow a LGBTQ student club on campus, citing the school’s status as a non-religious organization.

    The private Orthodox Jewish university in New York City must recognize YU Pride Alliance, a group of undergraduates who support LGBTQ students, as an official club, according to the June 14 decision from Judge Lynn Kotler.

    The judge ordered Yeshiva “to immediately grant plaintiff YU Pride Alliance the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges afforded to all other student groups at Yeshiva University.”

    Kotler asserted that Yeshiva’s religious identity was secondary to its educational purpose, subjecting the university to a law that bans discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation in public accommodations.

    “Yeshiva is a university which provides educational instruction, first and foremost. Yeshiva’s religious character evidenced by required religious studies, observation of Orthodox Jewish law, students’ participation in religious services, etc. are all secondary to Yeshiva’s primary purpose,” Kotler ruled.

    The court decision also permanently restrained Yeshiva University and President Ari Berman “from continuing their refusal to officially recognize the YU Pride Alliance as a student organization because of its members’ sexual orientation or gender.”

    In April 2021, three Yeshiva alumni and a student joined YU Pride Alliance in suing Yeshiva for not recognizing the LGBTQ club. The university rejected applications from the club multiple times since 2019, according to a June 14 statement by YU Pride Alliance.

  • 13. VIRick  |  July 29, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Massachusetts: Governor Signs Sweeping Bill Protecting Reproductive Health

    As of 29 July 2022, Massachusetts has a new law on the books protecting providers of reproductive health, including those providing abortions and gender-affirming care, from out-of-state legal action in a post-Roe v. Wade world, after Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed the sweeping bill Democrats sent to him.

    Baker's office announced shortly after 10:45 AM that he gave his approval to legislation that creates new legal shields for providers, who could otherwise face lawsuits originating in other states where Republican-led legislatures are cracking down on abortion access, after the US Supreme Court overturned the decades-old precedent of the Roe decision.

    The bill Baker signed also requires insurers to cover abortions without shifting costs to patients, orders the Department of Public Health to issue a standing order allowing any licensed pharmacist in Massachusetts to dispense emergency contraceptives, and clarifies state laws governing late-term abortions in an effort to ensure that the procedure remains accessible in Massachusetts.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  July 29, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    Lankford (R-OK) recently confirmed he's a no vote, which is totally not surprising.

  • 15. VIRick  |  July 30, 2022 at 7:48 am

    Uruguay: "Pepe" Mujica Speaks on Marriage Equality

    Per "Pepe" Mujica:

    El matrimonio gay es más viejo que el mundo. Dicen que es moderno y es más antiguo que todos nosotros. Es una realidad objetiva. Existe. No legalizarlo sería torturar a las personas inútilmente.

    Gay marriage is older than the world. They say that it is modern but it is more ancient than all of us. That is an objective reality. It exists. Not legalizing it would be uselessly torturing people.

    José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano, now 87, is an Uruguayan politician and former revolutionary who, from 2010 to 2015, served as the 40th President of Uruguay, precisely during the time in 2013 when Uruguay legislatively legalized marriage equality, and "Pepe" Mujica, as President of Uruguay, then signed the massive marriage equality reform package into law. A former guerrilla with the Tupamaros, he was tortured and imprisoned for 14 years during the Uruguayan military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Every time someone as prestigious as "Pepe" Mujica speaks, the haters, from Che Guevara to Antonin Scalia, all roll over in their graves, in unison, one more time.

    "Pepe" Mujica has a relatively similar background to that of Lula, that is, to that of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 76, the politician and former union leader from Pernambuco who, from 2003 to 2010, has already served two terms as the 35th President of Brasil, and who, quite likely, will again serve as the 39th and next President of Brasil.

  • 16. VIRick  |  July 30, 2022 at 10:13 am

    Slovenia: Bill to Codify Marriage Equality, LGBT Couple Adoption into Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 15 July 2022, following the 8 July ruling of the Slovenia Constitutional Court, the Slovenian Government has introduced a bill into the National Assembly to codify marriage equality and LGBT couple adoption into law.

    The Constitutional Court has given the Slovenian National Assembly six months to amend the law to this effect.

  • 17. VIRick  |  July 30, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    British Virgin Islands Pending Marriage Equality Lawsuit

    Per "BVI News:"

    The BVI Christian Council has lost a proposed appeal before the High Court (of the BVI) about a matter involving a same-sex couple in the BVI. The Council sought permission to appeal against case-management orders issued by Justice Adrian Jack. Justice Jack’s orders were in relation to evidence and the date of the next hearing for the matter.

    The matter concerns the validity of the marriage between Kinisha Forbes and Kirsten Lettsome – both of whom are women – and whether any prohibition against same-sex marriage in the BVI is contrary to the constitution of the Virgin Islands. The couple entered into a civil partnership in 2011 in the United Kingdom (UK), and was issued a marriage certificate once the UK’s same-sex couples law came into effect in 2014.

    After being added as an interested party in the matter, the Christian Council wanted time to gather certain evidence and to determine certain fact-based issues about the matter. Among other things, the Council sought to ascertain whether the marriage was actually considered valid in the UK.

    But Judge Jack noted in his latest ruling that he had ordered the Christian Council — when they were added to the case as an interested party — not to pursue factual issues that touched on impediments to the validity of the couple’s marriage.

    One is quite aware of the fact that the Constitution of the (British) Virgin Islands was deliberately written (and subsequently approved) in a gender-neutral format.

    This pending Forbes-Lettsome case in the BVI is relatively similar to the main case in the Cayman Islands, "Day v. Government of the Cayman Islands," but with one major difference. In the present BVI case, the couple in question, both British Virgin Islanders, actually hold a valid marriage certificate issued in the UK, and are seeking to have that valid UK marriage recognized as equally valid in the BVI.

  • 18. VIRick  |  July 30, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    British Virgin Islands Pending Marriage Equality Lawsuit, Case Details

    Per "BVI Beacon:"

    In a case that could have far-reaching consequences for gay rights in the Virgin Islands, two women who have been legally married under United Kingdom law since 2019 are seeking to have their marriage recognized in the British Overseas Territory.

    On 9 June 2021, Kinisha Forbes and Kirsten Lettsome sued the government, claiming that the Registrar-General denied them a marriage license on 2 February 2021 because they are of the same sex. The defendants, who are being represented by PST Law, are asking the court to declare that their marriage is valid under BVI law and that prohibiting same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

    They are also asking for the court to void and declare unconstitutional Section 13(c) of the 1995 Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act, which states that a marriage will be void if "the parties are not respectively male and female," ostensibly the sole piece of legislation blocking marriage equality.

    In their filing, the claimants argue that the prohibition of same-sex marriage contravenes several sections of the Virgin Islands Constitution, including Section 9, which declares fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals regardless of sexual orientation. They also cite Section 12, which grants equality before the law; Section 19, which protects the rights of an individual’s private life; Section 20, which protects the right of every “man and woman” to marry; Section 21, which protects the freedom of conscience, thought, and belief; and Section 26, which protects individuals from discrimination.

    Despite the subsequent negative Privy Council rulings against cases from both Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, this BVI case continues to proceed.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  July 31, 2022 at 10:59 pm

    19 GOP states have joined a rapidly-growing conservative movement to call a new Constitutional Convention

    During an extraordinary few weeks in June, the Supreme Court's three new Trump appointees powered the reversal of Roe v. Wade. They fortified gun rights and bolstered religious freedoms. Future presidents now have less power to confront the climate crisis. Each win is the product of a steady, and in some cases, decades-long quest by conservatives to bend the arc of history rightward.

    This isn't an exercise, either. State lawmakers are invited to huddle in Denver starting on Sunday to learn more about the inner workings of a possible constitutional convention at Academy of States 3.0, the third installment of a boot camp preparing state lawmakers "in anticipation of an imminent Article V Convention."

    Rob Natelson, a constitutional scholar and senior fellow at the Independence Institute who closely studies Article V of the Constitution, predicted to Insider there's a 50% chance that the United States will witness a constitutional convention in the next five years. Whether it happens, he said, is highly dependent on Republicans' success winning state legislatures during the 2022 midterm elections.

    The power to call for a convention belongs solely to state legislatures, who would pass and ratify amendments without a governor's signature, Congress' intervention, or any input from the president.

    Constitutional convention boosters include many of Trump's current and former allies, including conservative legal scholar John Eastman, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

  • 20. VIRick  |  August 1, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    Chile: Referendum on New Constitution, 4 September 2022

    On 4 September 2022, Chile will hold a referendum on the country’s new constitution that specifically includes protections for LGBTQ persons. On that date, Chileans will vote on the constitution that the Constitutional Convention, a group of 155 elected members, have already drafted. Eight of its members are openly LGBTQ, and one, Gaspar Domínguez, a gay doctor who works at a rural hospital in Palena in the Los Lagos Region of south-central Chile, served as its vice-president.

    The recognition of the different ways of forming a family, the right to gender identity, and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and its expression, among other matters, will all become reality if Chileans approve the new constitution. Chile would thus become one of the few countries in the world with a constitution specifically enshrining LGBTQ rights.

    Domínguez told the "Washington Blade" that the new constitution is also “at the forefront since it is the only constitution in the world that ensures political representation of sexual minorities."

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  August 1, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    Equality Florida poll shows LGBTQ voters angry at Ron DeSantis, anxious to vote

    “Florida’s LGBTQ voters and ally voters have grave concerns about their basic human rights, including access to abortion, freedom of speech and evidence-based healthcare for LGBTQ youth,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

    “They’re motivated to make a difference in this crucial election. Voters must send an unmistakable message that LGBTQ people and our allies are not going back in the closet or back in time. This discriminatory, defamatory and dangerous rhetoric and behavior must stop now.”

    The poll also gauged how motivated voters were to act. It found 77% believe it’s “more important than ever” to vote, both because of anti-LGBTQ laws and the protection of rights, including access to abortion.

    About 67% of the LGBTQ and allied voters polled called themselves “extremely motivated” to vote in the 2022 Midterms, and not just because of issues normally considered LGBTQ issues. About 47% said they were most motivated about restoring abortion rights, 31% want gun safety reforms, 22% are most concerned about high housing costs and inflation, and 19% list protecting LGBTQ equality as their top item.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  August 1, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Texas Trumpanzee Sentenced To 7-1/4 Years In Prison

    A Texas militia member on Monday received the longest sentence to date of any participant in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol: seven and a quarter years in prison.

    Guy Reffitt, 49, was the first Jan. 6 defendant to go before a jury and was convicted in March on five felony charges, including interfering with police during civil disorder, obstructing the tallying of the electoral votes and threatening his children if they reported him to authorities.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  August 2, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    Ukraine's plan for moving toward SSM

    Office of the President of Ukraine responded to the petition on legalization of same-sex marriages, which recently has received the necessary 25,000 votes for guaranteed consideration! As we were expecting, the legalization of same sex marriages is impossible under the conditions of martial law, as it requires changes in the Constitution of Ukraine.

    Article 157 of the Constitution of Ukraine: The Constitution of Ukraine cannot be changed during a state of war or emergency.

    However, the institute of registered civil partnerships is the best alternative in current situation. And the Government, led by the President, has given us a positive signal that the implementation is now only a matter of time.

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