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8/10 open thread


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


  • 1. VIRick  |  August 10, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Utah: Lawsuit against Transgender School Sports Ban Proceeds in State Court

    On 10 August 2022, a Utah state judge in Salt Lake City rejected the request by Utah officials to throw out a lawsuit challenging a state ban on transgender kids who want to compete in youth sports. The ruling comes ahead of a hearing scheduled for tomorrow where Judge Keith Kelly will assess whether to put the law passed by the Republican-majority Legislature this year on temporary hold.

    Kelly ruled that the three transgender girls who brought the lawsuit have shown they are harmed by the law that took effect on 1 July 2022, and therefore have legal standing for the case to move forward. Parents of the three girls and their attorneys contend in the lawsuit that the law wrongly keeps their children from participating in school sports while violating the state constitution that prohibits discrimination and guarantees equal rights and due process.

    Similar legal cases have been proceeding in Idaho, West Virginia, and Indiana.

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 11, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    Philippines: Civil Unions Bill for Same-Sex Couples Filed

    Senator Robin Padilla has filed a bill seeking to institutionalize civil unions of same-sex couples.,

    In filing Senate Bill 449, or the proposed Civil Unions Act, Padilla noted that the 1987 Constitution did not explicitly mention Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics, but it does not prohibit or exclude civil partnerships or unions of same-sex couples.

    "This proposed measure therefore seeks to recognize the civil union between two persons of the same or opposite sex to be able to enjoy the rights, protection, and privileges afforded in this bill," Padilla said in his explanatory note.

    Under SB 449, the following are the requisites for civil union:

    1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties:
    a. At least 18 years of age;
    b. Not prohibited to enter into civil union by reason of public policy;
    c. Free from any previous bond of marriage or civil union.
    2. Consent freely given in the presence of the administering officer;
    3. Authority of the administering officer;
    4. A valid license to contract or enter into a civil union issued by and obtained from the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where either party habitually resides; and
    5. A civil union ceremony which takes place with the personal appearance of the contracting parties before the administering officer and their personal declaration, that they take each other as legal partners in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

    The bill provided that no specific religious rite or form shall be required for purposes of this requirement.

  • 3. Randolph_Finder  |  August 12, 2022 at 8:50 am

    The *closest* equivalent in the United States would be if Clint Eastwood was Muslim and in the Mid-1980s was elected to the US Senate and had proposed National Civil Unions.

    I don't expect this to pass, *but* it does *seriously* open the door to discussion (a very loud, possibly violent discussion). Note, the fact that a Civil Union can be and a Marriage cannot is actually probably a bigger issue for some of the Churches than the fact that two men can enter into one.

    If Drag Race Phillippines hasn't already selected their guest judges, I'd suggest getting him!

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 12, 2022 at 9:19 am

    "Note, the fact that a Civil Union can be, and a Marriage cannot, is actually probably a bigger issue for some of the Churches than the fact that two men can enter into one."

    Do you mean in terms of the possibility of its dissolution?

    Legally married couples in the Philippines still do not have the right to divorce. Thus, if this proposed civil union law were to pass, in addition to everything else, opposite-sex couples would be wise to select "Civil Union" over "Marriage," as that choice would also grant them the right to divorce.

  • 5. Randolph_Finder  |  August 12, 2022 at 10:21 am

    Yup. This would be viewed as more of a back door allowing *divorce* than a back door allowing gay marriage.

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 12, 2022 at 11:33 am

    Philippines: Two More Senators Express Support for Civil Unions Proposal

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 12 August 2022, Senator Joel Villanueva expressed his support to “civil unions” for same-sex couples, but not for “marriage,” particularly in the religious aspect.

    Senator Risa Hontiveros also expressed support for Padilla’s bill, adding that the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill is the most important measure that should be passed to end discrimination.

    “I am thrilled to have a passionate ally in Sen. Padilla and I look forward to working with him in championing equality and LGBTQIA rights on the Senate floor,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

    The Senate of the Philippines is composed of 24 members. On the other hand, the House of Representatives is composed of 316 members.

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 11, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    Idaho Ordered to Pay Over $321,000 in Legal Fees after Losing Transgender Lawsuit

    Per KTVB:

    A federal judge has ordered the State of Idaho to pay more than $321,000 in legal fees that stem from a lawsuit, "F.V. and Martin v. Jeppesen," challenging a state law over its restrictive birth certificate changes passed in 2020 by the Idaho Legislature. The total amount, $321,224.50, will be paid using funds from a source yet to be decided by the Board of Examiners.

    On 9 August 2022, a sub-committee from the Board of Examiners met to approve the request for payment. The Board of Examiners is made up of several elected officials, including the governor, attorney-general, state controller, and the secretary of state.

    The aforementioned lawsuit resulted from the Idaho Legislature's decision to pass HB 509 in 2020. Said law stops anyone from changing the gender marker on their birth certificate, essentially disallowing transgender people from matching their birth certificate with the gender marker to which they identify.

    Previously, in March 2018, in "F.V. v. Barron," a federal court had ruled that Idaho was violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by stopping two transgender women from changing the gender markers on their birth certificates. However, two years later, in direct violation of the permanent injunction stemming from this case blocking such actions, Idaho’s Legislature still perversely passed HB 509, and Gov. Little signed it into law, in a vain attempt to over-ride this earlier 2018 federal court decision requiring the opposite.

    Since its inception in 1995, and not including this latest legal expense, the state's Constitutional Defense Fund has paid out well over $3 million dollars to cover the legal cost of Idaho passing questionable and/or unconstitutional laws.

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  August 11, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    The Supreme Court Wants to End the Separation of Church and State

    Many legal scholars in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s radical decision to reverse Roe v. Wade have focused on the dangerous implications of the court’s centuries-old worldview on protections for things such as same-sex marriage and contraception. This concern is real, but there is another issue with equally grave constitutional consequences, one that portends the emergence of a foundational alteration of American government itself.

    Considered alongside two First Amendment rulings last term, the Dobbs decision marks a serious step in an emerging legal campaign by religious conservatives on the Supreme Court to undermine the bedrock concept of separation of church and state and to promote Christianity as an intrinsic component of democratic government.

    [Click below to read the full article!]

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  August 11, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    A Mom’s Campaign to Ban Library Books Divided a Texas Town — and Her Own Family

    Weston Brown was scrolling through Twitter last month when he came across a video that made his chest tighten. It showed a woman at a school board meeting in North Texas, calling on district leaders to ask for forgiveness.

    For months, the woman in the clip had been demanding that the Granbury Independent School District ban from its libraries dozens of books that contained descriptions of sex or LGBTQ themes — books that she believed could be damaging to the hearts and minds of students. Unsatisfied after a district committee that she served on voted to remove only a handful of titles, the woman filed a police report in May accusing school employees of providing pornography to children, triggering a criminal investigation by Hood County.

    Now, in the video that Weston found online, she was telling the school board that a local Christian pastor, rather than librarians, should decide which books should be allowed on public school shelves. “He would never steer you wrong,” she said.

    The clip ended with the woman striding away from the lectern, and the audience showering her with applause.

    Weston, 28, said his heart was racing as he watched and rewatched the video — and not only because he opposes censorship. He’d instantly recognized the speaker.

    It was his mother, Monica Brown.

    “You are not invited to our house for Thanksgiving or any other meal,” his mother had texted to him in November 2018, eight months after he revealed his sexual orientation to his parents…

  • 10. scream4ever  |  August 11, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I couldn't even finish the whole article. Someone post her personal info please so we can harass this cunt.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  August 11, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    Here she is. You're heart's content 🙂

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  August 11, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Orphaned kindergartner is kicked out of Baptist school immediately after being adopted by her lesbian relatives

    Five-year-old Zoey already lost both of her biological parents, with her father dying in an industrial accident in 2020. Thankfully, her aunt, Jennifer Parker, took her in, and the adoption became official earlier this month. Zoey had already taken pre-K classes at Bible Baptist Academy in DeQuincy, Louisiana, so the plan was to continue there for kindergarten.

    But last week, just days before the school year began, and after the family attended open house and Zoey got her uniform, Jennifer and her partner Emily were told their new daughter was being kicked out… because the two of them are lesbians.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 12, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    Maryland: Gay Man Wins Suit against Catholic Employer over Spousal Health Insurance

    On 9 August 2022, a federal judge in Maryland has ruled that the non-profit, Catholic Relief Services, violated federal laws against sex discrimination when it denied health insurance benefits to the male spouse of a gay employee, rejecting their argument that they have a religious right to discriminate in employment.

    The employee, identified in court papers as “John Doe” to protect his privacy, claimed that after being told when he was hired in 2016 that CRS’s insurance plan provided health coverage for employees and their spouses, regardless of sex, his husband’s coverage was dropped in 2017 because same-sex spouses are not, in fact, covered.

    In her decision, US District Judge Catherine C. Blake said that exemptions to federal laws against sex discrimination for religious-based organizations do not apply in this case because Doe’s job as a data analyst was not part of the Baltimore-based organization’s religious mission.

    “CRS insists that any judicial inquiry into this case inevitably requires an inquiry into matters of Catholic faith and doctrine,” wrote Blake. “This is not so; this case concerns a social service organization’s employment benefit decisions regarding a data analyst and does not involve CRS’s spiritual or ministerial functions.”

    Blake noted that secular jobs are protected by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1963 Equal Pay Act. The US Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in "Bostock v. Clayton County" established that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination in employment also applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.

    A jury will now decide what damages Doe is owed.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  August 12, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Malaysia has banned Marvel's Thor: Love and Thunder film from the cinemas because of its 'gay elements' in an attempt to 'curb LGBT content'.

    Same sex relations are illegal in Malaysia, with those found guilty facing up to 20 yeas in prison and a mandatory whipping as punishment.

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 13, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Veracruz: Former Mayor of Xalapa Marries Her Fiancée

    Per "El Demócrata:"

    Imágenes de la boda de la ex presidenta municipal de Xalapa, Elizabeth Morales García, y la empresaria, Zoé Gamboa, este sábado, el 13 de agosto 2022.

    Images from the wedding of the former municipal president of Xalapa, Elizabeth Morales García, and the businesswoman, Zoé Gamboa, this Saturday, 13 August 2022.

    So far, since the recent legalization of marriage equality in Veracruz state, this appears to have been the splashiest affair to have yet taken place.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  August 15, 2022 at 12:16 am

    This Broward kindergarten teacher isn’t going to let ‘Don’t say gay’ change her lessons

    On Monday, when her students and their parents come in for a meet-and-greet a day before classes begin, they will find the usual books leaning against the bottom ledge of her white board, all about different types of families. And come Tuesday, the first day of classes for the district, she will start reading the titles to the kids. “The books in the classroom really show the diverse population in society,” she said. “They show that a gay person is like any other person, and that everyone needs to be treated with dignity and respect.”

    She and her colleagues have never taught kids about gender studies, she said. And she has not mentioned the word “gay” to her students, either in classroom lessons or in discussing her sexual identity as a gay woman, she said. Instead, she teaches about values. “If I’m reading a book in my classroom, and it’s called, ‘All Kinds of Families,’ and I’m reading a story to the kids and it says, ‘A family could have a mom and a dad, or two moms, or two dads,’ I’m not afraid to read that kind of book. I feel like the district will back me up,” Soufrine said. “I’m not afraid of continuing to teach what I teach.”

    Soufrine could have retired four years ago, but chose not to.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 15, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    Perú: Civil Unions Bill Introduced into Congress

    Per "Canal N," 15/08/22:

    Congresista de Avanza País, Alejandro Cavero, presenta proyecto de ley de unión civil:

    Congress member of Avanza País, Alejandro Cavero, presents a civil unions bill:

    Per Alejandro Cavero:

    Queridos amigos, quiero anunciarles la presentación de mi proyecto de ley para establecer la Unión Civil en el Perú. Este PL buscará regular los efectos jurídicos de esta institución para lograr una verdadera igualdad ante la ley para parejas del mismo sexo.

    Dear friends, I want to announce to you the presentation of my bill to establish Civil Unions in Perú. This PL will seek to regulate the legal effects of this institution in order to achieve true equality before the law for same-sex couples.

    The Peruvian Congress already has a pending marriage equality bill introduced to the same Congress in 2021 by Susel Paredes and a number of other congress members. This earlier bill was not sponsored, nor has it yet been signed or endorsed, by Cavero.

  • 18. VIRick  |  August 16, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Perú: Negative Reactions to Civil Union Bill from Sponsors of Marriage Equality Bill

    Per Ruth Luque Ibarra:

    En octubre 2021, respaldamos como bancada el Proyecto de Ley 525, matrimonio igualitario. La urgencia de garantizar derechos para todos sin exclusión y sin migajas es parte de una democracia.

    In October 2021, as a bench, we supported Bill 525, same-sex marriage. The urgency to guarantee rights for all without exclusion and without crumbs is part of a democracy.

    Ruth Luque Ibarra is among at least 9 members of the Peruvian Congress who have sponsored the Marriage Equality legislation originally introduced in October 2021, and who is now less than pleased (to phrase it mildly) with this latest civil unions bill, just introduced. Obviously, referring to civil unions as "crumbs" is not an endorsement.

    To Alejandro Cavero per "Tu Conciencia PE" (Your Conscience, Perú):

    En que afecta a la sociedad, a las familias, a los niños, y al país entero que exista MATRIMONIO IGUALITARIO? Por qué escamotear ese derecho con una ley ridícula que lo limita? Hay que tener un poco de vergüenza, y hacer las cosas correctas. Cuando lo harás?

    How does it affect the society, the families, the children, and the entire country that MARRIAGE EQUALITY exists? Why hide/scramble that right within a ridiculous law that limits it? You have to possess some shame/embarrassment, and do the correct thing. When will you do it?

  • 19. VIRick  |  August 15, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    The Mexico I Remember, Both for the Snark and the Double Entendre

    Per Carmen Lemus Rivas:

    Fui al Registro Civil #14 en Guadalajara por informes para casarme. Cuando pregunté si había algo distinto por ser un Matrimonio Igualitario, me dijeron que NADA. GRACIAS, Gobierno de Guadalajara. Aún falta mucho, pero hoy me sentí un poco pagada al ser tratada IGUAL que cualquiera.

    I went to the Civil Registry #14 in Guadalajara for information on marrying. When I asked if there was something different for being an Equal Marriage, they told me NOTHING. THANKS, Government of Guadalajara. Much is still at fault, but today I felt a bit paid back upon being treated the SAME as everyone else.

  • 20. VIRick  |  August 17, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Durango: Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality Tomorrow, 18 August 2022

    Per Nunny:

    Mañana, el 18 de agosto 2022, a las 5 PM, se votará en el Congreso de Durango el matrimonio igualitario.

    Tomorrow, 18 August 2022, at 5 PM, marriage equality will be voted upon in the Durango Congress.

    Per Horacio Alejandro Aranda Guereca:

    Con mucha ilusión y orgullo, veo “arder” las redes sociales, clamando al Congreso de Durango la adecuación del Código Civil para legitimar los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo. Tienen mañana la oportunidad histórica de dignificar su gestión.

    With great enthusiasm and pride, I see the social networks “burning,” calling on the Congress of Durango to adapt the Civil Code to legitimize same-sex marriages. Tomorrow they have the historic opportunity to dignify their management.

    Alejandro Aranda (immediately above) is the person who won the federal lawsuit forcing the Durango Congress to vote on the pending marriage equality legislation. The actual vote itself has already been postponed several times in the very recent past. The obligatory court-imposed deadline for such a vote to finally occur is 1 September.

    Similar federal district court rulings have already forced the state congresses of Sinaloa, Sonora, Querétaro, and Yucatán to vote in favor of marriage equality, and likewise, other federal court rulings against the state executive in Chihuahua and Guanajuato have also forced compliance. Only the Tamaulipas Congress continues to fight against its multiple federal court rulings requiring marriage equality compliance, with the latest challenge against it currently pending before the Supreme Court.

  • 21. scream4ever  |  August 18, 2022 at 12:27 am

    It's obvious Tamaulipas will be the final Mexican state to pass marriage equality.

  • 22. Randolph_Finder  |  August 18, 2022 at 6:03 am

    Not to me. I don't know why but I'm absolutely convinced that Mexico will be bookended by Mexico, i.e. Mexico City was first and Estado de Mexico will be last.

  • 23. VIRick  |  August 18, 2022 at 7:19 am

    At this moment, there are still 5 states in Mexico without marriage equality. In two of them, Durango and Tamaulipas, the state congresses are facing mandatory federal court orders to vote upon marriage equality legislation. The vote in Durango, already twice delayed, is now scheduled to be held today.

    As for Tamaulipas, its next "action" is very likely to occur at the Supreme Court (and we already know that the court, when it issues its decision, will harshly rule against them).

    The remaining 3 states, Edomex, Guerrero, and Tabasco, are not yet under their own specific mandatory federal court orders to comply, while legislatively, all 3 continue to dither, deflect, and postpone. Edomex has seen the most activist agitation, with some of it, given the harsh police response, becoming relatively violent in the narrow streets of the state capital, Toluca. For its part, the Edomex Congress has done everything,– they passed a gender identity bill, hate crimes legislation, a non-discrimination bill, and banned so-called "conversion therapy." That is, they have done just about everything except pass a marriage equality bill. Apparently, the sticking point in it has been the provision to allow LGBT couples the right to adopt.

    In Guerrero, the lack of statewide legislation on marriage equality has been tempered by the fact that certain municipalities, including all the most-populous ones (now that Acapulco is in accord), simply continue to follow Supreme Court jurisprudence, rather than their own out-dated state law, a practice first put in place in 2015.

    So, of the 5, Tabasco has been the most dormant.

  • 24. Randolph_Finder  |  August 18, 2022 at 9:05 am

    So, do we see all of Mexico with Marriage Equality by the end of the calendar year, or so some drag it out until 2023?

  • 25. VIRick  |  August 19, 2022 at 9:19 am

    Politics at the state level in Mexico is so arcane (and insane) as to defy any/all speculation. As a prime example, and despite a mandatory federal court order with an imminent deadline requiring a vote in the state congress on a bill held over (in the "freezer") since 2017, see immediately below for the latest fiasco in Durango.

    To summarize events, in a rather surprising spate of compliance activity, we gained 5 additional marriage equality states in the latter half of 2021. But so far for 2022, we have only gained 2 more states, Yucatán and Veracruz, both of which were quite obvious foregone conclusions, even a year ago. Because of excess obfuscation and delay, Yucatán in particular, can be counted as a "carry-over" from 2021.

    So for the moment, matters seem to have slowed again, despite the fact that no one who is politically active wants their state to be negatively tagged as "last-in-line " in compliance. In addition, the courts are certainly not smiling.

    Plus, it is important to remember that most elected representatives sitting in state congresses know a lot less about the law, and what is required, than we (collectively) do.

  • 26. Randolph_Finder  |  August 19, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Sigh. Just makes you wonder what else the Supreme Court can do. Prison sentences for legislators would be nice.

  • 27. VIRick  |  August 19, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Ever so slightly, you are jumping ahead of events. Increasingly severe daily fines, specific personal liability, and/or banishment from ever holding public office will all be levied before prison sentences are handed down. Judges in Mexico can be quite unrestrained in their rulings when pushed to enforce compliance.

    In 2016, in Michoacán, I mistakenly thought the "ball game" was effectively over when a federal judge in that state began assessing state legislators there with increasingly severe daily fines in order to force compliance with the Supreme Court marriage equality jurisprudence. And that was "only" 6 years ago, so far back in time that most people may not even remember. Thus, these last handful of states are really pushing the envelope with their continuing hateful defiance.

    For those who may not remember, and as a general reminder, the severity of the personal fines levied in the Michoacán case was such that there was only a 2-week delay until that state congress passed their marriage equality legislation.

    And one more state for 2021, as some purists count 6 states: On 6 April 2021, the Jalisco Congress finally codified marriage equality into state law. Previously, since 2015, Jalisco had had marriage equality due to a Supreme Court ruling, the first state to fall due to an "Action of Unconstitutionality."

  • 28. Randolph_Finder  |  August 21, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    OK. Let's start with the daily fines….

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 18, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Durango: 25-Member Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality Tonight, 18 August 2022

    Per Genaro Lozano:

    Hoy el Congreso de Durango vota matrimonio igualitario por orden judicial. PRI tiene 8 legisladores; Morena 7; PAN 6; PRD 2; PT 1; y PV 1. Se necesitan 13 votos. El presidente de la JUCOPO es Ricardo López Pescador (PRI).

    Today, the Durango Congress votes on marriage equality by judicial order. PRI has 8 legislators; Morena 7; PAN 6; PRD 2; PT 1; and Verde 1. Thirteen votes are necessary. Ricardo López Pescador (PRI) is the president of JUCOPO.

    In Mexican state congresses, the president of JUCOPO is the member in charge of preparing the agenda and then of guiding the legislation through the full chamber to a successful final vote. Presumably, given his leadership position, López Pescador (PRI) will be voting in favor. Otherwise, the measure would never have found its way onto the current agenda. Still, with Morena 7, PRD 2, PT 1, and Verde 1, that only tallies to 12 votes. We will need at least one more vote from a PRI member,– or several PRI/PAN "abstentions/absences."

    Per Elena Franco:

    Plus, the Durango Congress will be selecting the new president of the CEDH (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos) (State Human Rights Committee). One candidate in contention is Horacio Alejandro Aranda Guereca, a name we should already recognize.

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 18, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Durango: Congress Stalls, LGBT Proponents March into Congress Hall En Masse

    Per Pamela Reyna Ochoa, reportera de "Meganoticias Durango:"

    Buscan posponer la votacion del matrimonio igualitario en Durango, esto a consecuencia de una "deficiencia legislativa." Integrantes del colectivo LGBT amenazan con acampar en el Congreso hasta que se vote el tema.

    Due to a "legislative deficiency," Congress seeks to postpone the vote on marriage equality in Durango. Members of the LGBT community threaten to camp inside the Congress until the issue is voted upon.

    One can view a video showing the LGBT takeover of Congress during proceedings, while chanting "Matrimonio, matrimonio," here:

    Of special note, per "El Siglo de Durango," given the excuse of "legislative deficiency:"

    El dictámen es el mismo que se presentó en el año 2017.

    The draft is the same as was presented in 2017.

    Of the 24 members present, the vote to return the draft to committee was: 11 in favor, 7 against, 0 abstentions, and 6 non-votes.

  • 31. VIRick  |  August 19, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    New Zealand: 9th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per "Políticas LGBT:"

    El 19 de agosto de 2013 Nueva Zelanda implementa el matrimonio igualitario, convirtiéndose en el primer país de Oceanía en reconocer este derecho para la población LGBT.

    On 19 August 2013, New Zealand implemented marriage equality, becoming the first country in Oceania to recognize this right for the LGBT population.

  • 32. ianbirmingham  |  August 19, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    Despite death threats and backlash, Sumter, South Carolina school board member Brian Alston-Carter is "igniting a flame for change" in rural America

    To many, Alston-Carter — who identifies as a “same-gender-loving” Black man (or SGL, a culturally affirming term coined by activist Cleo Manago) in a conservative county — was a longshot in his attempt to unseat incumbent Rep. Grady A. Brown, a local businessman who had held the office for 30 years, in the Democratic primary.

    And, in fact, Alston-Carter lost. Later that year he lost a race for a school board seat. He ran for the statehouse again in 2016 and lost. Then, in 2018, he ran again for Sumter School District Board of Trustees, Area 1 — and won.

    While support for equal rights has trended upward since 2015, with 70 percent of Americans now in support of same-sex marriage, there has been little progress in Alston-Carter’s tiny hometown of Rembert or across the state of South Carolina when it comes to equality.

    In January the Republicans proposed House Bill 4605, which would prohibit the teaching or discussion of “discriminatory concepts” in public, charter, and private schools from kindergarten through college or any other entity that receives public funding, including nonprofit organizations and private businesses. The bill would restrict how gender, sexual orientation, and race are taught.

    Alston-Carter’s decision to attend Morehouse College, a historically Black liberal arts college in Atlanta, would prove liberating. The freedom that defines Black queer life in Atlanta inspired the small-town guy and landed him inside “The Mean Girls of Morehouse,” a 2010 Vibe Magazine article profiling queer and gender nonconforming Morehouse students who openly rejected the school’s conservative dress code policy.

    [Interview follows]

  • 33. VIRick  |  August 20, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    4th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Trans Individuals Have Legal Protections under ADA

    Transgender people have additional protections from discrimination under federal law for having a disability if they experience gender dysphoria, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on 16 August 2022, in a consequential decision that marks a first for a federal appeals court.

    A three-judge panel on the Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over MD, NC, SC, VA, and WV, determined that the Americans with Disability Act prohibits discrimination against people with gender dysphoria, despite explicit language in the law excluding “transsexualism” and “gender identity disorder,” as protected classes.

    Circuit Court Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, a Clinton appointee, wrote in a 56-page decision that gender dysphoria does not fall under those two categories in the law because “gender dysphoria is not a gender identity disorder.”

    "The ADA excludes from its protection anything falling within the plain meaning of ‘gender identity disorders,’ as that term was understood ‘at the time of its enactment,'” Motz writes. “But nothing in the ADA, then or now, compels the conclusion that gender dysphoria constitutes a ‘gender identity disorder’ excluded from ADA protection.”

    As a result, the appeals court remanded the case for additional review to the lower trial court in Virginia, which had come to the opposite conclusion and determined transgender individuals are not covered under the ADA.

  • 34. ianbirmingham  |  August 20, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Japanese transgender woman who froze sperm while male cannot be recognised as the legal parent of the child they helped produce, Tokyo high court rules

    A transgender woman who froze their sperm before transitioning is not the legal parent of the child they helped produce, a court in Japan has ruled.

    Only a child born before their surgery and legal gender change is formally their child, the judge on Tokyo's High Court decided yesterday.

    The unidentified trans woman, a man at birth, had two daughters with their female partner using sperm preserved before their transition.

    Four years ago they were legally permitted to change their gender on the family register, reports said.

    A country where same-sex marriage remains illegal and many LGBT+ people remain in the closet, Japan obligates its transgender population to have surgery before they can legally change their gender.

    Tokyo High Court ruled that she could be recognised as parent of the daughter born before her legal gender change, but not the second, born after.

    Japan remains the only G7 nation not to recognize same-sex marriage.

    In June, a Japanese court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was not unconstitutional, dealing a setback to LGBTQ+ rights after a court in 2021 found the opposite.

  • 35. VIRick  |  August 21, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Singapore: Prime Minister Announces Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality

    On 21 August 2022, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that his country will decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. Lee made the announcement during his speech at a rally that marked National Day, the date that commemorates Singaporean independence from Malaysia.

    “Private sexual behavior between consenting adults does not raise any law and order issue. There is no justification to prosecute people for it nor to make it a crime,” said Lee. “This will bring the law into line with current social mores and I hope provide some relief to gay Singaporeans.”

  • 36. ianbirmingham  |  August 21, 2022 at 11:01 am

    Japan Railways East refuses to sell registered gay couple their special rail pass for spouses

    Ariel Ling-chun Liu was shocked to discover that he and his same-sex partner were ineligible for Japan Railway’s (JR) couples’ discount pass. When Liu, 37, inquired if he could buy the special rail pass for married couples, he was rejected on the grounds that he and his partner, who have had their same-sex partnership officially certified through their local government, are not a man and a woman.

    Liu, who is from Taiwan and teaches Chinese and gender issues at Sagami Women's University as a part-time lecturer, started living with a Japanese man, 52, in Aichi Prefecture last year. They received their partnership certificate from their municipality in April this year.

    For five years in a row, JR East won the gold prize under the LGBT pride commendation system offered by an advocacy group for sexual minorities. The rail company won the awards for its work to support the LGBT community.

    In response to an inquiry, JR East told The Asahi Shimbun the pass is “not sold to same-gender couples because their marriages are not legal as of now.” But it acknowledged that men and women with common-law marriages are eligible. “Such pairs are virtually the same as legally married couples because they live within the same households,” said JR East. “If they submit marriage notification forms, they would be approved. This means they fulfill our criteria for pass users.”

    The company said that six JR corporations will consider a person’s individual situation and whether they can provide a solution.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  August 21, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Singapore to decriminalise sex between men

    Singapore will decriminalise sex between men, the prime minister said today, adding that society in the city-state was becoming more accepting of gay people.

    But he added the government had no intention of changing the city-state’s legal definition of marriage – that is, between a man and a woman.

  • 38. Randolph_Finder  |  August 21, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    At least it is *a* step.

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  August 24, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Several states see surge in women registering to vote following Supreme Court abortion ruling

    An analysis by TargetSmart Insights, a Democratic political data and data services firm, found that women are out-registering men by significant margins in states where reproductive rights are in danger of being repealed, such as Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan.

    In Kansas, women out-registered men by 40 percent, making 70 percent of all new registrants women. Earlier this month, voters in the state rejected a proposed amendment that would have paved the way for the Republican-led state legislature to ban the procedure.

    However, Kansas was not the only state to see an increase in female voter registration.

    In Michigan, where legal battles are taking place over abortion rights, women out-registered men by 8.1 percent since the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

    In Wisconsin, where it is now a felony for virtually any abortion to be performed, except in instances where it is needed to save the mother’s life, women have out-registered men by 15.6 percent since the Supreme Court’s decision.

    In Louisiana, women outpaced men in new registrations by 13 percent since the decision, while in Pennsylvania, women out-registered men by 12 percent.

    “This isn’t just a blue state phenomena. In fact, it is more pronounced in states where choice is more at risk, or has been eliminated by the decision,” the CEO of TargetSmart tweeted.

  • 40. VIRick  |  August 25, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    Durango: Federal Courts Continue Issuing Amparos for Equal Marriages

    Per Tadeo Campagne, 23 de agosto 2022:

    Ganamos amparo número 50 de matrimonio igualitario.

    We won amparo number 50 for equal marriage.

    Per Horacio Alejandro Aranda Guereca:

    This latest amparo was issued on 23 August 2022, one that requires the Civil Registry to celebrate the marriage of a female same-sex couple who live in Rodeo, Durango, a municipality in the northeastern part of the state.

    Since court-issued amparos are no longer required for same-sex couples to marry in any of the 27 jurisdictions in Mexico that have already legalized marriage equality, this announcement pertaining to the most-recent amparo just issued in Durango state feels like a serious throw-back in time.

  • 41. VIRick  |  August 25, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    Colombia: Constitutional Court and Survivor's Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

    Corte Constitucional: Fondos de pensiones (privados) no pueden negarse a pagar pensiones de sobreviviente (respecto) a una pareja de hecho del mismo sexo.

    Constitutional Court: (Private) pension funds cannot refuse to pay survivor pension benefits (with respect) to a cohabiting/de facto couple of the same sex.

  • 42. VIRick  |  August 25, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    Slovakia: Bi-National Same-Sex Couple Seeks Foreign Marriage Recognition

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Jakub Šanko, a Slovak citizen, and his Argentinian husband, Marian Ruiz, are facing a legal barrier before their relocation to Slovakia from South America. Ruiz cannot obtain permanent residence because Slovak legislation, in particular the Family Act and the constitution, does not recognize gay marriage. The couple married in Argentina in 2020, and the Argentinian has turned to a Slovak district court, seeking recognition.

    Former public defender of human rights, Mária Patakyová, turned to the Constitutional Court in March 2022 on the same matter in a case that concerns a different gay couple. Patakyová asked the court to review the law on the residence of foreigners that, she said, discriminates against foreigners based on sexual orientation.

    Currently, a foreigner who is gay and who has lived with their Slovak partner in a marriage in a (non-EU) third country for a long time is unable to obtain permanent residence because they cannot meet the conditions set in the Family Act, which defines marriage as a bond between a male and a female. The constitution includes the same definition.

    However, Inakosť, an LGBT organization, points out that Slovakia already approves the permanent residence of a foreigner in a same-sex marriage with a Slovak citizen if, in the past, another EU member state has already approved their permanent residence .

    Slovakia might thus be forced to change its law on the residence of foreigners in a way that would accept same-sex marriages between Slovaks and foreigners worldwide for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence. The potential change would not lead to any changes in the Family Act.

    Slovak courts have not yet ruled on either of the above-mentioned cases.

  • 43. VIRick  |  August 25, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    Arkansas: Court Rules that Trans Youth Healthcare Ban Is a Form of Sex Discrimination

    On 25 August 2022, a federal appeals court said that Arkansas cannot enact Act 626, its law banning gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth, because said law relies on sex discrimination. A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling blocking the state from enforcing the law.

    Act 626, which was passed by the state legislature in April 2021, prohibits medical providers from offering puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, or surgeries to anyone below the age of 18, although such surgery remains costly, inaccessible, and extremely rare for minors. The law also prevents medical providers from referring trans youth to other providers who might offer such care. Any medical professional who would violate the law would be subject to possible discipline by professional regulatory bodies.

    The lawsuit challenging the law was brought by the ACLU on behalf of four trans youths, their parents, and two Arkansas doctors. In their argument, they stated that the law furthers no important governmental interest and that the state offered no legal or evidentiary support to show why the law should even exist.

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) vetoed Act 626 in April 2021, but the Republican-led legislature overrode his veto. That same year, Hutchinson signed two other anti-LGBT bills: one banning trans student-athletes from playing on school sports teams matching their gender identity, and another allowing healthcare providers to refuse to perform procedures to which they religiously or morally object.

    The Opinion in "Brandt v. Rutledge" is here:

    Alabama and Arizona also passed laws banning gender-affirming care for trans youth.

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  August 26, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Trumpanzee who assaulted Capitol Hill cops with a Trump flag & a Trump billboard gets 46 months in prison

  • 45. VIRick  |  August 26, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Israel: Two Court Wins for LGBT Family Recognition

    Recently, the religious status quo that has given Orthodox rabbinic authorities absolute control over marriage and other family laws ever since the creation of the state of Israel has been weakened. And a former Atlanta same-sex couple played a major role in one of those court decisions.

    In June 2022, an Israeli court ruled that Neta Cohen and Meital Gutman, the legal parents of two children from Atlanta, could both be recognized as their parents, rather than just Gutman, who had given birth to the children in the US via sperm donation. When they moved to Israel with their two boys, the government would not recognize both of them as their parents; this, despite both names being on their birth certificates, which is all opposite-sex couples would need to show in order to be recognized.

    The couple challenged the government in court and won, making them the first LGBT family in Israel to be recognized using only a birth certificate alone to obtain said recognition. Future same-sex families who move to Israel will also only need to show a birth certificate, rather than needing to go through adoption or court proceedings.

    In addition, about a month later, in July 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that a non-biological parent who has been granted parenthood status by court order cannot be deprived of this status after the couple separates.

  • 46. VIRick  |  August 27, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Andorra: New Family Code Signed into Law by President of France

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    One of Andorra's two co-princes, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, signed the new Family Code into law on 17 August 2022, (and it was published in the BOPA on the same date.) As a result, it will go into effect in 6 months, that is, from 17 February 2023. Among a host of up-dated changes, said new law includes both marriage equality and provision for transgender self-ID (auto-percibido).

    Here is the official publication of it in its entirety (in Catalan), Llei 30/2022, published in the Butlletí Oficial del Principat d'Andorra (BOPA) of 17 August 2022:

    "Casament civil" is discussed in Secció quarta i cinquena (Section 4 and 5).

    "El matrimoni canònic" is discussed in Secció sisena i setena (Section 6 and 7).

    Basically put, all couples wishing to marry in a civil ceremony in Andorra, regardless of sexual orientation, must file for a "casament civil." "El matrimoni canònic" is an extra, unnecessary add-on, essentially a church wedding, outside the purview of civil authorities, and for which the bishop can decide who can marry. Regardless, either will do for registration purposes, as the important words are: "amb els mateixos efectes" (con los mismos efectos) (avec les mêmes effets) (with the same effects).

    I am also very happy that the marriage equality law in Andorra has now been finalized because Catalan is actually a fairly difficult language. Yes, it is mostly Spanish vocabulary and grammar, with a heavy dose of French/Portuguese pronunciation. However, it contains far too many unique words to be dismissed as merely a regional dialect. Notice that 3 of the 4 words in my brief quote do not match (or even come close to) their equivalent in either Spanish or French, while the fourth word is pronounced as in English.

  • 47. Randolph_Finder  |  August 29, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    The best way that I've heard it described is that Andorra has two types of marriage, one that can be had by anyone, and one that can be had only by Catholics in good standing with the RC Church, but as you said, the important term is "amb els mateixos efectes"

  • 48. ianbirmingham  |  August 27, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis files complaint against R House drag club, citing a 1947 state Supreme Court decision that shut down a popular female impersonator club

    In March of 1947, a Florida court ordered the Ha Ha Club — a nightclub famous for its “female impersonators,” as they were called at the time — to close after declaring it a public nuisance.

    The order came just a month after Frank Tuppen, a juvenile probation officer with political ambitions, filed a complaint against the venue. He argued that the club’s performers were “sexual perverts” who had embedded “in the minds of the youngsters” who lived in the area “things immoral” and were “breaking down their character.”

    The owner of the club, Charles “Babe” Baker, appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, but in October 1947, it affirmed the lower court’s decision that the club was a public nuisance. “Men impersonating women” in performances that are “nasty, suggestive and indecent” injure the “manners and morals of the people,” the court ruled.

    Last month, nearly 75 later, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who is widely thought to be eyeing a 2024 presidential run, cited the case that shut down Ha Ha Club in a complaint against Miami restaurant R House over its drag performances.

    The 2022 complaint, filed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, threatened to revoke R House’s liquor license, arguing that the establishment violated a state public nuisance law by becoming “manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people.”

    Historians say the parallels between the R House and the Ha Ha Club complaints, and the fact that DeSantis’ administration cited a 75-year-old court decision, reveal how conservatives are resurfacing a decades-old moral panic about LGBTQ people to target queer spaces.

  • 49. VIRick  |  August 29, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    India: Supreme Court: LGBT Couples Entitled to Social Benefits/Legal Protections

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 29 August 2022, India’s top court declared that same-sex couples are entitled to social benefits and that they deserve legal protections. The ruling sets a precedent that will further India’s slow but gradual easing of colonial-era anti-LGBT laws

    The law "must not be relied upon to disadvantage families which are different from traditional ones," the panel wrote in its decision. “Familial relationships may take the form of domestic, unmarried partnerships or queer relationships. Such atypical manifestations of the family unit are equally deserving not only of protection under the law but also of the benefits available under social welfare legislation,” the court said.

  • 50. ianbirmingham  |  August 29, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Justice Alito’s Crusade Against a Secular America Isn’t Over

  • 51. VIRick  |  August 29, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    St. Kitts-Nevis: High Court Decriminalizes Same-Sex Sexual Relations

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 29 August 2022, the St. Kitts-Nevis High Court, in "Jeffers v. Attorney-General of St. Kitts," decriminalized gay sex, declaring said ban unconstitutional, a decision that follows closely behind a similar court ruling of early July 2022 from the neighboring Antigua High Court in "David v. Attorney-General of Antigua."

    "In the premises, I grant the following declarations and orders:

    "1. Section 56 of the Offences Against the Person Act, Cap.4.21 contravenes sections 3 and 12 of the Constitution of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, namely, the right to protection of personal privacy and the right to freedom of expression, and, as such, is null and void and of no force and effect to the extent that it criminalises any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct in private between adults;

    "2. Section 57 of the Offences Against the Person Act Cap.4.21 contravenes sections 3 and 12 of the Constitution of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, namely, the right to protection of personal privacy and the right to freedom of expression, and, as such, is null and void and of no force and effect to the extent that it criminalises any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct in private between adults;

    "The claimants have succeeded on the claim, and as such, the normal rule that costs follow the event applies. The defendant shall pay the claimants’ costs to be assessed if not agreed within 21 days."

    This now leaves only 7 Caribbean countries within the Western Hemisphere still with their British-imposed, antiquated, colonial-era sodomy bans remaining in place, namely Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Grenada, Guyana, and Jamaica.

    At the moment, worldwide, the number of nations that have still not yet decriminalized same-sex sexual relations stands at 69.

  • 52. ianbirmingham  |  August 30, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Why the forecast for November is changing

    The key to the change in expectations is a shift in the issues motivating the electorate. Earlier this year, the debate between the parties centered on inflation, the economy, crime, immigration and President Joe Biden's stalled legislative agenda in Congress — all issues that motivated the Republican base and alienated many swing voters from Democrats. But a series of dramatic events over the past few months have elevated an entirely different set of issues: gun violence, threats to democracy, climate change and, above all, abortion rights.

    The effect has been the political equivalent to one weather system displacing another.

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