Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

1/8 open thread


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


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  January 9, 2023 at 11:17 am

    India: Over 2,000 join LGBTQ march in New Delhi

    More than 2,000 members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters returned to New Delhi streets on Sunday after a three-year break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to press for equal marriage rights.

    Dancing to drumbeats, they carried rainbow flags, balloons and placards as they walked for more than an hour to the Jantar Mantar area near India’s Parliament.

    “It’s good, it’s fabulous. Because we are here to celebrate ourselves, and after three years,” said Vishal Rai, a 23-year-old participant.

    Their hopes have been raised by India’s Supreme Court hearing petitions on granting legal recognition to same-sex marriage.

    The Supreme Court in 2018 struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

    Most Hindu nationalist leaders say same-sex marriage is against India's culture. Although there are openly gay celebrities, and some high-profile Bollywood films have dealt with gay issues, many in the community still face isolation and persecution.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 9, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    "Most Hindu nationalist leaders say same-sex marriage is against India's culture."

    Quite to the contrary, the Hindu Vedic tradition clearly states that marriage is the union of two "souls," and according to the Vedas, "souls" are gender neutral. Reflecting this precise point, the Hindu Marriage Act of India is itself gender neutral, and is specifically the reason why it is one of the three marriage laws (and the only one reflecting a religious tradition) currently under challenge before the Supreme Court of India.

    Let us hope that the Court ignores the vacuous Hindu nationalist politicians, and instead, in its ruling, actually follows the concepts found in the Vedas:

    By Definition, Hindu Marriage Act Is Gender-Neutral, a Union of "Two Souls"

    Per Paras Sharma, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India:

    Same-sex marriages are not a new phenomenon in India, as homosexuality has an ancient history. The history of homosexuality can be traced to the "Rig-Veda," which dates from around 1500 BC. The remarkably sexually-explicit "Kamasutra" also describes the Harems of young boys kept by Hindu aristocrats and Muslim Nawabs. However, with the advent of Brahmanism and later of British Colonialism, these experiences started to be seen as a matter of hatred.

    Hindu scriptures (called Vedas) define marriage as the union of "two souls," and the same scriptures also define that a soul has no gender. It is only the human bodies that possess a gender. These scriptures are a major source of Hindu Law, including the Hindu Marriage Act. The Act merely codifies the Hindu Law and does not try to erode the values within the Holy Scriptures.….

    This gender neutrality present in Hinduism is also found in Buddhism, in large part because the Gautama Buddha was Indian, and his teachings simply spread this concept of gender neutrality (among others) further to the east into Southeast Asia and over the Himalayas into China and beyond.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  January 10, 2023 at 10:48 am

    From VIRick's very good link:

    In March 2018, the Supreme Court of India has held that an adult has a fundamental right to marry a person of their own choice. The collective reading of this case with Navtej Singh Johar (September 2018) can be taken as a tacit recognition of same-sex marriage.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 9, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    Plus, we already have this ruling of 12 June 2020 from the Uttarakhand High Court:

    Uttarakhand High Court Rules Same-Sex Cohabitation Is a Fundamental Right

    Consensual cohabitation between two adults of the same sex is not illegal or a crime, the Uttarakhand High Court observed recently while hearing a petition. Individuals from the same sex might not be competent to enter into wedlock since the law does not recognize such marriages, but they still have a right to live together even outside of wedlock, Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma stated in an order issued on 12 June 2020.

    “It is a fundamental right which is guaranteed to every person under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which is wide enough to protect an inherent right of self-determination with regard to one’s identity and freedom of choice with regard to the sexual orientation of choice of partner,” the court said.….

    Uttarakhand state, in northern India, abuts both Nepal and Tibet, and likely reflects both Hinduism and Buddhism. Its Court has been one of the most progressive on the assertion of LGBT rights. Its capital city, Dehradun, the largest Himalayan city wholly within the Union of India, is the site of the Sikh temple, Gurdwara Nanaksar, as well as its being a major Tibetan Buddhist monastery/temple center, the central hub-point for the Hindu Himalayan pilgrimage circuit to the source of the Ganges, and the location of the Muslim royal family of Afghanistan-in-exile.

    Sikhism and Hinduism share three central concepts: that of "atma" or gender neutral "souls," "samsara" or rebirth, and "karma" or reaping what one sows, be it good or bad.

    Buddhism and Hinduism share the concepts of "samsara," "karma," and "dharma" or moral order, leading to enlightenment.

    Buddhism and Sikhism, as "reform" movements that both split off from Hinduism, share the concept of the universal equality of all persons.

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 11, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    Tabasco: Emiliano Citlali, the First Non-Binary Person Registered in the State

    Tabasco: Emiliano Citlali, la Primera Persona No Binaria Registrada en el Estado

    Per "El Heraldo de Tabasco:"

    El 11 de enero 2023, la Oficialía del Registro Civil No. 2 expidió la primera acta de nacimiento para una persona no binaria en Tabasco.

    On 11 January 2023, the Civil Registry Office #2 issued the first birth certificate for a non-binary person in Tabasco.

    The process was accomplished through the filing of an amparo in August 2022, the judgment of which was only granted now, in January 2023, the first such non-binary birth certificate issued for Tabasco, and only the second such nationwide in all of Mexico (the first being issued in Aguascalientes several months ago).

  • 6. VIRick  |  January 11, 2023 at 9:20 pm

    Tabasco: First Equal Marriage in the State without Amparo

    Tabasco: Primer Matrimonio Igualitario en el Estado sin Amparo

    El 23 diciembre 2022, se realizó el primer matrimonio igualitario en el estado sin amparo, el de Karla Ivette Hernández Félix y Cecilia Guadalupe Morales Zamarrón en Villahermosa.

    On 23 December 2022, the first equal marriage in the state without amparo was realized, that of Karla Ivette Hernández Félix and Cecilia Guadalupe Morales Zamarrón in Villahermosa.

    This was the first same-sex couple to marry in Tabasco after the state law was changed, effective from 27 October 2022, following its publication legalizing marriage equality. This 23 December marriage date also makes Tabasco the very last state in Mexico where a same-sex couple was finally able to marry without their requiring an amparo to do so.

    The Tamaulipas Congress was the last to act legislatively in changing state law legalizing marriage equality. However, the new law there was quickly published, effective from 19 November 2022, and numerous same-sex couples in at least 5 different municipalities married immediately thereafter.

    Due to technical difficulties, Guerrero was the last state in Mexico to publish its new marriage equality legislation, only managing to do so on 30 December 2022. However, numerous same-sex couples in multiple municipalities have married in that state without needing an amparo (based solely on Supreme Court jurisprudence) since early 2016.

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 13, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    Paraguay: A Paraguayan Same-Sex Marriage,– in Rosario, Argentina

    Per Esteban Paulon:

    Hoy, el 13 de enero 2023, se casaron en Rosario los queridos Paloma y Totoro quienes llegaron desde Paraguay para acceder al derecho al matrimonio igualitario que su país les niega.

    Today, 13 January 2023, the beloved Paloma and Totoro, who arrived from Paraguay to access the right to marriage equality that their country denies to them, were married in Rosario.

    Per SOMOSGAY de Paraguay:

    Felicitamos de todo corazón a Paloma Vera (Dirección Ejecutiva SOMOSGAY) y Manuel Delgado que celebraron su matrimonio en el Registro Civil del Distrito Central de Rosario.

    We wholeheartedly congratulate Paloma Vera (SOMOSGAY Executive Director) and Manuel Delgado who celebrated their marriage in the Civil Registry of the Central District of Rosario.

    This is at least the third same-sex couple from Paraguay to marry in near-by Santa Fe province in Argentina.

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 15, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    Czech Republic: Marriage Equality Supporter Wins First Round in Presidential Election

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A supporter of marriage equality, Petr Pavel, wins in the first round of the Presidential election. The second round in this election will take place in two weeks.

    Pavel will face off against ex-PM Babis whose party once supported LGBT marriage, but who is now calling for enhanced civil unions.

  • 9. Randolph_Finder  |  January 16, 2023 at 6:09 am

    The most pro-LGBT candidate in the race was apparently Danuše Nerudová who came in third. (expected to come in very close to the top two, but fell back quite a bit) As a note, even though the top two candidates are very close in percentage, Danuše who finished third, as well as those who finished 4th, 6th and 7th have endorsed Petr Pavel. (I haven't been able to find endorsements of those who finished 5th or 8th). Most of the polling has Petr getting about 58-60% to Babis's 40-42%.

    Note, I have seen information indicating that Pavel is politically to the Right of Babis, but it hasn't been viewed as *that* significant and by US Standards, both are Left of Center. The closest equivalence that I could give in recent US politics would have been if the US Presidential election had been Colin Powell vs. Steve Forbes (One rich guy, one Army General, but neither particularly driven to the end of the Political spectrum)

  • 10. scream4ever  |  January 29, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    Pavel has been elected, so it's likely that the Czech Republic will pass a same sex marriage bill within the next year or so.

  • 11. VIRick  |  January 15, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Namibia: Marriage Equality Case Heads ro Supreme Court

    Per Namibia Equal Rights Movement:

    We’re heading to the Supreme Court to put an end to Namibia's discriminatory practices at the cost to the taxpayers.

    The case in question involves Daniel Digashu and Johann Potgeiter and the non-recognition of their South African marriage, as well as the non-recognition of Potgeiter's adoption of Digashu's nephew, an orphaned minor, by the state. Digashu is a citizen of South Africa, while Potgeiter is a citizen of Namibia.

    Actually, the case really began with Namibian Immigration, as Digashu has been fighting the Namibian government to be granted a work permit since 2017. As a result, he has yet to be able to work in Namibia.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  January 15, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    Florida: Gay-friendly curriculum draws complaints at Nassau County legislative delegation meeting

    JASMYN, an organization in Jacksonville, lost $45,000 in funding because they had allegedly been displaying cartoon figures of dancing penises to children as part of a health program.

    “This was brought before the school district, and the school district cut the funding.”

    The issue involved a card game meant to educate people older than 18 on HIV prevention and shared on Instagram, though online misrepresentations have led to a kind of telephone game effect on what people believe JASMYN is doing or has done in the past.

    “Schools have a lot of resources, but they’re not always easy to access for students, and in particular, LGBTQ students don’t always feel safe,” JASMYN CEO Cindy Watson told Jacksonville television affiliate WTLV at the time.

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 16, 2023 at 7:31 am

    A Current List of All 67 Countries Worldwide Where Homosexuality Is Illegal

    Per "Stars Insider:"

    This is a reasonably accurate country-by-country listing of all 67 nations worldwide where homosexuality is de jure illegal, what the maximum penalty by law happens to be in each, and whether or not such penalty is actively enforced.

    The listing also makes special mention of Iraq and Egypt where homosexuality is de jure legal, but where other laws and factors are utilized to discriminate and punish. It also draws special attention to the specific, negative on-the-ground circumstances found in Chechnya, Indonesia (Aceh Province/Palembang), and Palestine (Gaza). And although Bhutan and Singapore are still cited, both have recently decriminalized homosexuality.

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 17, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    ECHR Orders Russia to Recognize Same-Sex Unions

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 17 January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia to provide recognition of same-sex unions, but not necessarily as marriage equality. The Russian Federation is unlikely to obey the decision, given that it is no longer a member of the European Court of Human Rights, a direct result of its invasion of Ukraine.

    The ECHR sided with three gay couples who had asked for the recognition of their relationships but who were denied by Russian authorities, ruling that countries have an obligation to make the legal protections of marriage available to same-sex couples.

    “The court holds … that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention,” Judge Síofra O’Leary, president of the court, said when reading out the ruling, referring to the court's founding charter. The Grand Chamber found that the convention changes as society does. “The Convention is a living instrument which must be interpreted in the light of present-day conditions,” the judges wrote. Moreover, the judges found protections for minorities do not rely on the acceptance of the majority.

    Less than 15 years ago, the Strasbourg-based court concluded in another landmark ruling that the European Convention of Human Rights allows for gay marriage but does not require it. Now, however, consensus on the issue has shifted sufficiently so that it is no longer optional.

    Two lesbian couples and one gay couple had applied at various times between 2009 and 2013 for marriage licenses in Russia. All three couples were denied, with courts citing the Russian constitution as well as various family law statutes as prohibiting all forms of same-sex unions.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 17, 2023 at 8:05 pm

    Albania: Lesbian Couple Seeking Parental Recognition of Twins at the ECHR

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 13 January 2023, a lesbian couple in Albania began the long legal battle to be recognized as the parents of their twin children. They expect to fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights because, even now, Edlira Mara and Alba Ahmetaj know that their case will end up there in Strasbourg, as the odds are totally stacked against them in Albania.

    Ever since Mara, 42, gave birth to twin girls almost two years ago, the couple has been fighting in the courts in Albania to register the children under both Mara and Ahmetaj's names as being the parents. But since they are both women, this is impossible under current Albanian law.

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 19, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Netherlands: Constitutional Amendment Bans Anti-Gay Discrimination

    On 18 January 2023, the Upper House of the States General of the Netherlands, the supreme bicameral legislature of the kingdom, voted to amend Article 1 of the Constitution of the Netherlands, expanding it to prohibit discrimination against someone because of a disability or because of their sexual orientation.

    In a 56­–15 vote in the Dutch Senate, the proposal for amendment passed and is now headed to King Willem-Alexander for his royal assent and that of the Dutch government. Once approved, it will be published in the Staatscourant, the official government publication that formally announces new laws in the kingdom.

    Dutch media outlet "NL Times" noted that Article 1 states that everyone in the Netherlands “shall be treated equally in equal circumstances.” The following sentence then goes on to explicitly mention several examples, including “religion, belief, political opinion, race, or sex.” That list will now be expanded to include "disability and sexual orientation."

    The procedure for such an adjustment takes years because it has to be voted upon several times. With the Senate’s recent vote, that process has now been completed.

    As of 2020, there were 11 other nations with similar constitutional bans against LGBT discrimination: Sweden, Portugal, Malta, San Marino, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Nepal, Fiji, and South Africa.

  • 17. VIRick  |  January 19, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Durango: Federal Circuit Court Rules in Favor of Gender Identity

    Per "México Igualitario:"

    On 9 December 2022, in a stunning court ruling, the first of its kind in Mexico, the First Collegiate Tribunal of the 25th Circuit, based in Durango, resolved "Amparo en Revisión 127/2020" in favor of México Igualitario so that trans persons who they accompany can request the recognition of their gender identity from the State Civil Registry without the need of presenting an amparo.

    As of today, 19 January 2023, said court ruling in favor of self-declared gender identity, without amparo, has gone into effect statewide in Durango.

    Per "México Igualitario:"

    Nosotros continuaremos acompañando de forma gratuita a todas las personas que hayan sido registradas en Durango para que puedan tener acceso a su derecho, en lo que las autoridades deciden atender sus obligaciones.

    We will continue to accompany all persons who have been registered in Durango free of charge so that they can have access to their right, while the authorities decide what to do to attend to their obligations.

    This latter comment is a snide reference to the fact that, to date, the Durango state Congress has not lifted a finger to pass gender identity legislation, nor has the Durango state Executive bothered to issue any executive decree pertaining to the same subject. Instead, Alex Ali Diaz Méndez (of México Igualitario), by federal circuit court order, will accompany all those who wish so as to ensure their rights.

    Alex is truly amazing, literally being granted by the federal circuit court the right to take the law into his own hands to ensure that Supreme Court jurisprudence is followed.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 20, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Guerrero: First Equal Marriage under New Marriage Equality Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    El 14 de enero 2023, Alex Abarca y Francisco Zúñiga se casaron en Acapulco, convirtiéndose en la primera pareja en unirse en matrimonio igualitario tras la aprobación de la reforma en el estado de Guerrero. Llevaban 40 años como pareja, desde que decidieron unir sus vidas viviendo juntos.

    On 14 January 2023, Alex Abarca and Francisco Zúñiga were married in Acapulco, becoming the first couple to unite in an equal marriage after the approval of the reform in Guerrero state. They have been a couple for 40 years, ever since they decided to unite their lives by living together.

  • 19. VIRick  |  January 20, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Taiwan: All Bi-National Same-Sex Marriages Now Permitted, Except for Mainland China

    On 19 January 2023, in a sudden policy reversal that is effective immediately, the government of Taiwan said it would allow same-sex couples with one Taiwanese and one foreign national to register their marriage even if the foreign partner is from a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex unions. In a directive to all local governments, the Ministry of the Interior said the previous practice that excluded such couples discriminated against them and contradicted the law on which same-sex marriage is based.

    However, one exception will remain, as mainland China is still excluded because cross-strait marriages are governed by separate laws that stipulate that such couples must first register their marriage in China before they can apply in Taiwan.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  January 22, 2023 at 1:43 am

    And since China doesn't permit or recognize SSM…. :O

  • 21. Randolph_Finder  |  January 22, 2023 at 6:19 am

    Sort of reminds me of Israel or India. There are categories of Marriage far more significant than whether the participants are the same sex or not.

  • 22. VIRick  |  January 22, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    Hot from Brasil! Everyone's Favorite Congressman

    Say hello to Kitara Ravache from Niterói:

    After this CNN news article was written, George Santos, or Anthony Devolder, or whatever his actual name(s) might happen to be, has admitted that he is also the Kitara Ravache in said photo, but with the caveat that he is NOT a Drag Queen. Of course not. He lost the beauty contest at Praia de Icaraí and was not crowned as the Queen!

  • 23. Fortguy  |  January 22, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    Good, or else the local library would have the worst drag queen story hour ever.

  • 24. VIRick  |  January 23, 2023 at 7:36 am

    . . . but a fact that opens him up to the worst bi-lingual pun(-ish-ment) ever.

    So, if he's not a Drag Queen, then he must be a "Travestí." Especially in Brasil, where the term is widely used, a "travestí" (transvestite) is someone, especially a man, who enjoys dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex.

    And, of course, "travestí," when pronounced, sounds exactly like "travesty" in English (but with the emphasis on the third syllable). To say the very least, "travesty" accurately summarizes every aspect of this entire mess.

    Furthermore, one should never confuse the trampish Euro-centric "travestís" of Brasil with the Indigenous cultural inheritance displayed by the Inca "transformistas" of Bolivia or by the third-gender Zapoteca "Muxes" of Oaxaca.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  January 23, 2023 at 10:00 am

    We are now at 202 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this session and we are not even through January. Nearly all of them directly target trans people.

    Click the link below for a USA map & spreadsheet documenting all of these

  • 26. VIRick  |  January 23, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    Washington State: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds "Conversion Therapy" Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 23 January 2023, in "Tingley v. Ferguson," the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the en banc review of a licensed counselor's challenge to Washington State's prohibition on "conversion therapy" for minors, thus leaving in place the earlier panel decision upholding the district court's ruling in favor of the state.

    The Order is here:

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  January 23, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    How the ACLU Tracks Anti-LGBTQ Bills, and How We’re Fighting Back

    The ACLU has launched a nationwide tracking system to publicly document and categorize anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures, and guide users to learn more about efforts to protect LGBTQ people and the right to safe, inclusive schools and communities.

    The goal of this page is to help advocates, organizers, and allies take action against these bills while also revealing these proposals for what they are: a coordinated and political attack on LGBTQ people nationwide.

    Our legal and advocacy team uses a bill-tracking service and works with ACLU affiliates and local organizations across the country to monitor state legislatures for bills targeting the rights of LGBTQ people. Each bill is reviewed by legal staff at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project before being categorized on this site.

    You can use our tracking system to see what’s happening in your state, and sign this legislative action petition to stay up to date on state legislative attacks on trans rights, reproductive freedom, and more.

  • 28. VIRick  |  January 25, 2023 at 6:25 am

    Virginia: Senate Passes Marriage Equality Affirmation Bill

    On 24 January 2023, the Virginia Senate approved a bill that would affirm marriage equality in state law. Senate Bill 1096, sponsored by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (Alexandria-D), passed by a 25-12-3 vote margin.

    “My bill ensuring that Virginians have the right to marry who they love regardless of their sex, has passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote,” tweeted the openly gay Senator.

    SB 1096 now goes to the Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates.

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 25, 2023 at 9:05 am

    How George Santos Learned to Sashay in 4-Inch Heels Before Losing Miss Gay Rio de Janeiro Drag Queen Pageant

    Per "Footwear News:"

    Eula Rochard said George Santos’ introduction to drag began at her house in Niterói, a suburb north of Rio de Janeiro where the GOP congressman used to live with his mother in 2005. Santos was then known as Anthony Devolder — or Kitara Ravache in drag.

    “He was an extremely delusional gay boy, completely broke,” she recalls. During this time, Santos would reportedly wear dresses, wigs, lashes, and over-the-top makeup to party with his friends. “He never performed as a drag queen, not on a professional level, simply because he wasn’t good enough. But he would go out in full drag.” Rochard questions his taste in fashion but gives him credit for his catwalk. “He was great in heels. He sashayed really well, but he could only handle 4-inch heels. More than that was too much for him,” she said.

    Niterói is the capital of Rio de Janeiro state, while the city of Rio de Janeiro itself is the capital of Guanabara state. Guanabara state conforms to the boundaries of the old Federal District (before its being moved to Brasilia), while Rio de Janeiro state comprises the area surrounding it. Both cities are located on opposite sides of Guanabara Bay.

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 25, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    New York State Assembly Passes Expanded Equal Protection Constitutional Amendment

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 24 January 2023, the New York State Assembly passed the constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure will now go before the voters in 2024, and does not need the governor's signature.

    The New York Constitution currently bans discrimination based on “race, color, creed or religion.” The amendment would expand that list to include ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and “reproductive healthcare and autonomy.”

  • 31. VIRick  |  January 25, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    Mexico: Social Security Law Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages for Benefits

    Per CNDH en Mexico:

    Celebramos la publicación del 20 de enero 2023 del Decreto que reforma la Ley del IMSS e ISSSTE a fin de reconocer las uniones civiles de parejas del mismo sexo.

    We celebrate the publication on 20 January 2023 of the Decree that reforms the IMSS and ISSSTE Law to finally recognize the civil unions of same-sex couples.

    Mexico has two social security systems, one for state workers and one for everyone else.

  • 32. ianbirmingham  |  January 25, 2023 at 8:17 pm

    US Senate 2024: 23 Ds are up for reelection — and just 11 Rs.

    After last year's midterm fail, Republicans are licking their chops at an enviable outlook for snatching the Senate majority in '24.

    West Virginia: This is the GOP's best pickup opportunity, since it's the second-most Trump-friendly state on the map.

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is the only Democrat who can win in this red state — but he's no guarantee to run for a third term.

    Popular Gov. Jim Justice (R-W.Va.), a former Democrat, is strongly considering a run. He'd be the toughest GOP opponent Manchin faced in his long political career.

    Ohio: Ohio, a one-time battleground, is fast becoming Republican turf, with the GOP scoring a clean sweep in last year's midterms. But Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has an enviable brand as a labor-friendly Democrat who has won over blue-collar voters that drifted to Trump.

    He has already announced he's all-in for a tough campaign.

    Republicans expect a crowded primary to challenge him.

    Montana: The GOP's ability to pick up the seat held by Sen. Jon Tester (D) comes down to candidate recruitment — and whether the popular red-state senator runs for re-election.

    Republicans are worried that two prospective challengers have serious political baggage: Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) lost to Tester in 2018, and hails from the hard-right wing of the House GOP caucus. Rep. Ryan Zinke resigned as Interior Secretary amid ethics investigations.

    Arizona: Democrats fear that a potential three-way race, with Democratic voters split between Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), could hand the seat to Republicans.

    Most of the rumored GOP candidates hail from the MAGA wing of the party — including losing 2022 gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

  • 33. VIRick  |  January 26, 2023 at 3:33 pm


    A so-called "Christian" baker who has spent years fighting for the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people has lost his appeal in his latest case about his refusal to make a cake for someone celebrating their gender transition.

    In 2021, a Colorado state judge in Denver ruled that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop illegally discriminated against Autumn Scardina when he refused to make her a birthday cake because she is transgender, arguing that baking the cake would violate his religious beliefs.

    The Colorado Court of Appeals announced its decision that the cake is not a form of speech and that Phillips’s refusal to serve someone because she’s trans violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. The court stated: “We conclude that creating a pink cake with blue frosting is not inherently expressive and any message or symbolism it provides to an observer would not be attributed to the baker.”

    Scardina said that Phillips was fine with her order when she requested it in June 2017, that is, until she mentioned that she is transgender and the meaning that the colors have for her. Phillips allegedly told her that he “did not make cakes for ‘sex changes.’”

    She filed a discrimination complaint and later sued Masterpiece Cakeshop.

    In 2021, Phillips said that the cake would celebrate “somebody who thinks that they can” live differently than the sex they were assigned at birth. But the Denver judge disagreed. Phillips was fine with making the cake and selling it to Scardina before he knew she was trans, but changed his mind when he found out, showing that his issue was with her identity and not the product itself. If a cake that’s blue on the outside and pink on the inside is an act of speech, it should not have mattered that Scardina is trans.

  • 34. VIRick  |  January 26, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    Philippines: Quezon City to Hold 2nd Annual LGBT Commitment Ceremony

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In February 2023, the Quezon City government, officiated by the mayor, Joy Belmonte, will be sponsoring its second annual commitment ceremony for LGBT couples. Quezon City residents interested in taking part in the ceremony may register in their respective districts’ action offices or “mini city halls."

    To date, Quezon City, the official national capital of the Philippines between 1949-76 and immediately adjacent to Manila to the northeast, is the only city in the country to host such an event. Quezon City is a modern planned city with a population of 3 million, making it the most populous city in the Philippines.

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  January 26, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    FDA will ease ban on monogamous gay and bisexual men donating blood

    Men who had sex with another man (MSM) in the past three months, or women who had sex with one of those men, are not allowed to donate blood under current rules. This is because those men were struck hardest by America's AIDS outbreak decades ago.

    These rules have widely been panned as homophobic by critics. The UK and Canada lifted similar bans in recent years.

  • 36. ianbirmingham  |  January 27, 2023 at 8:34 am

    FDA proposes new guidelines for blood donations

    In response to a blood donor shortage during the Covid pandemic, the FDA further eased restrictions in April 2020 to allow gay and bisexual men who had not had sex in the past three months to donate.

    Under the guidelines proposed on Friday, gay and bisexual men who are in monogamous relationships would be allowed to donate blood. But individuals, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, who have recently had anal sex with a new or multiple partners would have to wait three months before donating.

    The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest organization that advocates for LGBTQ rights, said the FDA proposal is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to to remove restrictions.

    “We urge the Biden administration to prioritize removing remaining barriers and ask the FDA to move expeditiously while ensuring the safety of the blood supply and a blood donation policy in-line with the science,” said HRC President Kelley Robinson in a statement.

    People who are taking oral medications to prevent HIV infection would not be allowed to donate blood for the three months following their most recent dose. Those taking injections to prevent HIV would not be allowed to donate blood for two years following their most recent injection.

    These medications, called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, can result in false negatives on HIV tests, according to the FDA.

    Under the proposed FDA policy, anyone who has tested positive for HIV or taken medicine to treat an HIV infection would be banned from donating blood. People who have engaged in sex work or used illicit intravenous drugs recently would have to wait three months to donate.

    Blood banks would still be required to test all donations for HIV as well hepatitis C and B, according to FDA.

  • 37. VIRick  |  January 27, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    ECHR: Lithuania "Propaganda" Law Violates European Convention on Human Rights

    On 23 January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Lithuania’s anti-LGBTQ "propaganda" law violates the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2019, author Neringa Dangvydė Macatė filed a lawsuit against the law after Lithuanian authorities censured her children’s book that featured two same-sex couples.

    The "propaganda" law specifically bans the distribution of information to minors that “expresses contempt for family values, encourages the concept of entry into a marriage and creation of a family other than as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania.” The court heard Macatė’s case against it in April 2022.

    Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, an openly gay Lithuanian MP who is running for mayor of Vlinius, the country’s capital, told the "Washington Blade" that the ECHR ruling will bolster efforts to repeal said "propaganda" law.

  • 38. VIRick  |  January 29, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    Czech Republic: Voters Elect Pro-Western, Pro-Marriage-Equality President

    Former NATO general, Petr Pavel, will become the next president of the Czech Republic, having won the second round of the election on 28 January 2023. Preliminary results show that he received 58.3 percent of the vote in the two-candidate run-off.

    The impressive margin of his victory over former Prime Minister Andrej Babis suggested a surge of support for liberal democracy, following several years in which populists have enjoyed the upper hand. It also stoked hopes among his supporters that, amid the war in Ukraine, the Czech Republic was now cementing itself in the Western mainstream.

    One of the first decisions to arise will be the likely implementation of the Euro as the official currency of the Czech Republic. Then, after that, the push for marriage equality.

  • 39. VIRick  |  January 29, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Liechtenstein: Hereditary Prince Alois Seems to OK Marriage Equality/Adoption

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    At the opening of the new session of Parliament, the hereditary Prince appears to lend support to marriage equality and adoption, but opposes equal access to reproductive services.

    Darauf angesprochen, seine Worte hinsichtlich des Kinderwunsches homosexueller Paare zu konkretisieren, antwortete der Erbprinz Alois von und zu Liechtenstein: "Es gibt die Adoption – sowohl Stiefkind- als auch Fremdkindadoption. Was die Reproduktionsmedizin diesbezüglich betrifft, darüber werden wir in Zukunft Diskussionen führen müssen."

    When asked to clarify his words about homosexual couples’ desire to have children, Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein answered: “There is adoption – both stepchild and foreign-child adoption. As far as reproductive medicine is concerned in this regard, we must have discussions about it in the future."

    "Erbprinz Alois von und zu Liechtenstein" (Hereditary Prince Alois from and to Liechtenstein) is his correct, full, official, untranslatable title.

  • 40. VIRick  |  January 29, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    Sint Maarten Will Also Have to Deal with Aruba/Curaçao Same-Sex Marriage Court Ruling

    If the Aruba/Curaçao same-sex marriage verdict stands up in the Supreme Court, then it will also apply to Sint Maarten, as all three have the same legal framework, as per the State Secretary Alexandra van Heffelen, in response to questions in the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) in the Netherlands.

    Curaçao has already appealed the marriage equality ruling. Aruba, which has legalized same-sex civil unions, is still deciding. Sint Maarten, as a passive bystander; utilizes the same court system, a system that at the higher levels, applies equally to all 3 jurisdictions.

    Sint Maarten will survive. After all, the other half of the island, St-Martin, as part of the Overseas Départment of Guadeloupe, has had marriage equality since 2013. And so do three other islands visible from Sint Maarten: St-Barthélemy (French), Saba (Dutch), and Sint Eustatius (Dutch). Only the British islands sandwiched in between, Anguilla to the north and St. Kitts-Nevis to the southeast, do not.

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  January 30, 2023 at 7:22 am

    FL: Broward School Board to revise sex ed policy to comply with “Don’t Say Gay”

    School district officials said that sections of the Family Life and Human Sexuality policy, or Policy 5315, will likely need to be changed in order to align with the section of the state law that forbids instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3 or “or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

    At Tuesday’s meeting, officials pointed to sections of the district policy that reference K-4 and K-12 education, as well as the National Sexuality Education Standards, a guide that sets minimum standards for sex education across the United States, as examples of what they believe may violate the bill, officially titled House Bill 1557.

  • 42. VIRick  |  January 30, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Andorra: Parliament Approves Family Law Changes So that Marriage Is Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 30 January 2023, Parliament approved the changes to family law ensuring that all marriage (civil, religious, LGBT) will just be called marriage ("matrimoni"), in accordance with the Constitutional Court ruling.

    Per Consell General, Parlament del Principat d'Andorra:

    Aprovada la Prop.llei Qualificada de modificació de la Llei 30/2022 del 21 de juliol, Qualificada de la Persona i de la Família, 28 a favor, 0 en contra, i 0 abstencions.

    The Qualified Bill amending Law 30/2022 of 21 July, Qualified of the Person and the Family, is approved, 28 in favor, 0 against, and 0 abstentions.

  • 43. VIRick  |  January 31, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    India: Delhi High Court Sends Marriage Recognition Pleas to Supreme Court

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Following Supreme Court order, on 30 January 2023, the Delhi High Court has transferred its collection of pleas seeking recognition of same-sex marriage to the Supreme Court.

  • 44. Elihu_Bystander  |  February 1, 2023 at 7:08 am

    To the members of the Jacksonville First Baptist Church who sign this pledge, welcome to the New Westboro Baptist Church. Good job, throwing Jesus and his gospel out with the bathwater. Your well on your way to becoming a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group.

  • 45. ianbirmingham  |  February 1, 2023 at 10:06 am

    College Board Strips Down Its A.P. Curriculum for African American Studies

    After heavy criticism from [Florida] Gov. Ron DeSantis, the College Board released on Wednesday an official curriculum for its new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies — stripped of much of the subject matter that had angered the governor and other conservatives.

    The College Board purged the names of many Black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory, the queer experience and Black feminism. It ushered out some politically fraught topics, like Black Lives Matter, from the formal curriculum.

    And it added something new: “Black conservatism” is now offered as an idea for a research project.

    In its revised 234-page curriculum framework, the content on Africa, slavery, reconstruction and the civil rights movement remains largely the same. But the study of contemporary topics — including Black Lives Matter, affirmative action, queer life and the debate over reparations — is downgraded. The subjects are no longer part of the exam, and are simply offered on a list of options for a required research project.

    And even that list, in a nod to local laws, “can be refined by local states and districts.”

    More than 200 faculty members in African American studies condemned Governor DeSantis’s interference in the A.P. course in a letter published in Medium on Tuesday. They accused him of censorship and of trying “to intimidate the College Board into appeasement.”

  • 46. VIRick  |  February 1, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Finland: Parliament Passes Transgender Self-ID Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 1 February 2023, Parliament passed a bill allowing for the legal recognition of transgender self-ID, while also abolishing the sterilization requirement. Finland’s 200-seat parliament, the Eduskunta, voted 113-69 in favor of making the changes.

    The bill will allow transgender individuals who are 18 or older to legally change their gender by self-declaration, without having to supply a psychiatric assessment or the certificate on their inability to reproduce. The amendments, which are expected to take effect as soon as possible, abolish a provision that required transgender people to provide a medical certificate proving they were infertile, or sterilized, before the government would recognize their gender identity.

  • 47. VIRick  |  February 1, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    El Salvador: Transgender Name-Change Complaint Filed with CIDH

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 1 February 2023, transgender activists in El Salvador filed a complaint with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) over congress' refusal to amend the law to allow legal name change, as ordered by the Supreme Court of El Salvador.

    Pedirán audiencia a la CIDH por Ley del Nombre. La población transgénero recordó que la Asamblea (Nacional) no ha cumplido un fallo de la Sala impuesta que ordena reformar la Ley del Nombre.

    They will request a hearing at the CIDH for the Name Law. The transgender population recalled that the (National) Assembly has not complied with a required ruling of the Court that orders reform to the Name Law.

  • 48. VIRick  |  February 1, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    Perú: Symbolic Weddings to Take Place in February

    As of the moment, despite the current political crisis engulfing Perú, it would appear that the annual symbolic weddings that take place each February under the sponsorship of La Red Peruana TLGB are still going to be held.

    Per Radio Conexión Vida:

    Ya estamos con las previas de las Bodas Simbólicas 2023. Participa de esta intervención que realizamos cada febrero por el matrimoni iIgualitario. Inscríbete aquí:

    We are now into the previews of the Symbolic Weddings 2023. Participate in this intervention that we carry out each February for marriage equality. Sign up here:

  • 49. VIRick  |  February 1, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    Help!! My Links Are No Longer Being Posted as Active

    Since making the recent post concerning Andorra two days ago, I have suddenly realized that my links are no longer showing up here at EoT as being active, meaning that they are appearing in black, rather than in blue. I have no idea why this should have suddenly occurred, and have no understanding as to how to "fix" it.

    I have shut down my computer several times, and re-booted, but to no avail. The problem persists, but my technical knowledge has been exhausted.

    In the meantime, as a work-around, in order to follow the link, you will need to copy it from my post, and then paste it into Google Search to thus bring up the reference in question.

  • 50. ianbirmingham  |  February 1, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    It's Scottie fiddling with the site's software again. Links used to automatically format themselves. Now you have to substitute your link for LINK in the text below:

    <a href="LINK"

    followed by

    target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

    followed by


    followed by


    followed by


  • 51. VIRick  |  February 1, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    Ian, thanks for your assistance. However, the effort was not successful.

    On the "El Salvador" post up above, I followed your directions precisely. But when I posted it, it came back in the altered state that you can still see there, including the alterations to your own directions. I have left the mess as-is, so you can see exactly what occurred.

    I have no interest in pursuing this matter any further, as my technical interest and skill is extremely limited. I can wait for the links to automatically format themselves again.

  • 52. ianbirmingham  |  February 2, 2023 at 4:49 am

    Apparently, the last two steps were omitted:


    followed by


  • 53. ianbirmingham  |  February 2, 2023 at 4:59 am

    Waiting for Scottie to fix the software may not be very productive. The "Recent Comments" section on the home page has been broken for probably over a year now, with no indication that it will ever be fixed.

    Scottie's technical skills also seem to be limited. Why he keeps fiddling with the software is quite difficult to understand.

    In contrast, your (VIRick's) linguistic & cultural skills are very impressive.

  • 54. VIRick  |  February 2, 2023 at 5:20 pm

    Ian, today, the issue with the "problem" links has vanished. I just finished re-doing each of them, and all are now in blue, meaning that they are active and working.

  • 55. ianbirmingham  |  February 1, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Ohio School District With Non-Discrimination Policy Abruptly Cancels High School Play Because Some 'Karen' Complained That Two Of The Characters Are Gay

    Already several months – and hundreds of dollars – into the production, students and parents are already expressing their frustrations. The district, meanwhile, has stood behind its decision, asserting that anyone alleging discrimination is 'mistaken.'

    'When we found out it was canceled, everybody was just heartbroken,' said Riley Matchinga, a senior who was playing a lead role in the musical comedy told local affiliate Fox 8 of the school's decision.

    'Honestly, it was terrible. Everyone was just crying,' the teen said, appearing alongside her mother Mandi, the musical's assistant director.

    Awarded a Tony in 2005, the play is centered around a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous middle school, with two of the students' parents being gay men.

    School policy states: 'In all aspects of its operations, the district vigorously enforces its prohibition against discriminatory harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, age, religion, ancestry, or genetic information.'

    Matchinga, meanwhile, has said $1,700 has already been spent on the production, and that it’s too late in the school year to obtain the necessary licensing to put on another show since it would require 10 to 17 weeks of rehearsing.

    'Theater is about making you think about things and making you question things and thinking critically,' she added, arguing that theater is not only meant to serve as entertainment but as social commentary as well.

  • 56. VIRick  |  February 2, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    US Virgin Islands: Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Discrimination Now Illegal

    On 2 February 2023, Governor Albert Bryan of the US Virgin Islands signed into law Bill No. 34-0271, which makes it illegal to discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • 57. ianbirmingham  |  February 2, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will sign a bill banning drag shows from areas accessible by minors in order to 'protect kids' – The bill would ultimately do away with drag storytime performances, which sees drag queens reading to students for free at public libraries

    In previous legislative sessions Arkansas has made national headlines for legislation seeming to target the trans community.

    In 2021, Arkansas made headlines for passing the first-ever kind of legislation in the nation banning drug or surgical intervention on minor patients who identify as transgender.

    The Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act, or SAFE Act, passed despite Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's veto. Hutchison said he opposed the bill, describing it as a 'vast government overreach.'

    A lawsuit filed in opposition to the law is currently before the trial judge for a decision.

  • 58. VIRick  |  February 3, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    Belgium: 20th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Worldwide, Belgium was the second country to legalize same-sex marriage, and did so from 30 January 2003, right behind its neighbor, the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, at least one person of the couple intending to marry must be a citizen of the Netherlands. However, Belgium took the concept one step further by permitting couples from anywhere in the world to be married there.

    Homohuwelijk bestaat 20 jaar in ons land, maar in grote delen van de wereld is het nog niet vanzelfsprekend. Twintig jaar geleden stelde ons land het huwelijk open voor mensen van hetzelfde geslacht. Na Nederland was België het tweede land waar huwen met iemand van hetzelfde geslacht mogelijk werd gemaakt. Sindsdien kan dat wereldwijd in een 35-tal landen, maar in nog veel meer landen, is er nog heel wat ruimte voor verbetering.

    Same-sex marriage has existed in our country for 20 years, but in large parts of the world, it is not yet a matter of fact. Twenty years ago, our country opened up marriage to people of the same sex. After the Netherlands, Belgium was the second country where marriage with someone of the same sex was made possible. Since then, this has become possible in some 35 countries worldwide, but in many more countries, there is still much room for improvement.

    In Nederlandse taal (often referred to in Belgium as Vlaamse taal), this extended news article then goes on to discuss in depth the situation regarding same-sex marriage and LGBT rights throughout the entire rest of the world, area by area and country by country.

  • 59. VIRick  |  February 3, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    Suriname: Constitutional Court Rules Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Is Constitutional

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Suriname, the Constitutional Court has ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional, despite the obligations of Suriname to implement the ruling of the CIDH (IACHR) as per OC-17/24. However, the Court also says that the marriage laws in Suriname are outdated and that they must be addressed by the legislators after social discussion.

  • 60. VIRick  |  February 6, 2023 at 8:53 am

    Cyprus: In Presidential Run-off, Both Candidates Favor Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Cyprus, both candidates advancing to the presidential run-off on 12 February 2023 support marriage equality, but only Andreas Mavroyiannis, a veteran career diplomat and in second place with 29% of the vote, to Nikos Christodoulides, an ex-foreign minister and frontrunner with 32%, supports the right of LGBT couples to adopt, to utilize IVF, and for automatic parenthood recognition.

    Remembering that Cyprus is already a well-established "magnet" country for hetero couples seeking civil marriage, particularly for inter-faith or non-religious couples from an assortment of near-by Middle Eastern countries that only allow religious marriage, Cyprus may well jump ahead of both Italy and Greece as the next European Union member to allow marriage equality. Currently, Cyprus allows civil unions for same-sex couples.

  • 61. Randolph_Finder  |  February 6, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    On a classic Western European Left-RIght axis, Mavroyiannis is Leftist, and Chistodoulides is Centrist, but frankly opinions on what should be done in regards to Turkish Cyprus and any reunification tends to affect party alignments as well.

  • 62. VIRick  |  February 6, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Hong Kong: Court of Final Appeal Rules in Favor of Transgender Rights

    On 6 February 2023, Hong Kong's highest court ruled that the policy of barring transgender people from changing their gender shown on ID cards, unless they were to undergo full sex reassignment surgery, violates their rights and is unconstitutional.

    The Court of Final Appeal unanimously sided with appeals launched by transgender activist Henry Edward Tse and a second appellant identified only as “Q,” and quashed the Commissioner of Registration’s decision to refuse their applications to change their gender marker on their Hong Kong Identity Cards.

    “The policy’s consequence is to place persons like the appellants in the dilemma of having to choose whether to suffer regular violations of their privacy rights or to undergo highly invasive and medically unnecessary surgery, infringing their right to bodily integrity,” the judges wrote in their judgment. “Clearly, this does not reflect a reasonable balance. The policy imposes an unacceptably harsh burden on the individuals concerned.”

    Both Tse and "Q" underwent lengthy medical and surgical treatments, including hormonal treatment and removal of breasts, but the registrar still attempted to require them to conduct a full sex reassignment surgery, which the pair argued was unnecessary, unwanted, and highly invasive.

  • 63. scream4ever  |  February 6, 2023 at 8:48 pm

    If I were them I'd say fuck it and show up anyways, maybe packing heat for good measure.

  • 64. ianbirmingham  |  February 7, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Virginia’s senators urge state legislature to repeal same-sex marriage ban

    Democratic Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are calling on lawmakers in the commonwealth to repeal a state constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage.

    In their letter sent Monday, Kaine and Warner, both former governors, wrote that while they were able to co-sponsor and support the federal Respect for Marriage Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in December, they still have concerns about the U.S. Supreme Court overturning its previous decision on Obergefell v. Hodges, which established the national right to same-sex marriage.

    The senators pointed to Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion in the court’s June decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the constitutional right to an abortion. Thomas said the court should revisit other decisions related to the right to privacy, including access to contraceptives and LGBTQ rights.

    “If Obergefell is overturned, then LGBTQ Virginians will likely lose the right to marry the person they love unless the General Assembly repeals the ban in Virginia’s constitution,” Warner and Kaine wrote in their letter to members of Virginia’s General Assembly. “Virginia’s circuit courts would be prohibited from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples due to the prohibition in the Commonwealth’s constitution.”

    Virginia’s Senate voted 25-14 on Monday to support Joint Resolution 242, the first step in an effort to repeal the constitutional amendment, ratified in 2006, that defines marriage in Virginia only as “between one man and one woman,” according to the Richmond-Times Dispatch.

    A separate bill introduced by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D), which would recognize marriages as lawful in the state regardless of sex, also passed in the Senate chamber in a 25-12 vote, the Times reported.

  • 65. ianbirmingham  |  February 7, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Trans Lives Matter protesters occupy Oklahoma Capitol building to fight GOP bills that bans gender-confirming surgery for under 21s

    'Trans Lives Matter' protesters descended on Oklahoma's State Capitol building yesterday, occupying the interior rotunda, to protest against new bills that would ban gender-affirming surgery for young people.

    The protesters from Oklahomans For Equality and Freedom Oklahoma started their demonstration outside the building, then moved indoors.

    Organizers told that all protesters entered the building peacefully, going through the necessary security checks, before staging their demonstration inside.

    Their protest was against a collection of proposed new legislation that is being championed by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt.

    Some of the bills propose a ban on state funds being used for gender reassignment care or surgery for anyone under the age of 18.

    The most restrictive, Senate Bill 129, seeks to ban such treatment for anyone under the age of 26 by punishing doctors who provide those services.

    The physicians would face criminal prosecution and would lose their license.

    Some medical professionals say it will drive doctors out of the state.

    In his State of the State address last night, Governor Stitt doubled down on his plans, and called on the state legislature to pass the bills.

    Last year, Governor Stitt signed a bill into effect that bans transgender females from competing in girls' sports. The law also bans transgender females from using girls' locker rooms and bathrooms.

    Instead, school students must use the restroom of the gender they were born. The protesters at yesterday's rally included students from the local university.

    Oklahoma is proposing some of the strictest transgender healthcare legislation in the country.

  • 66. ianbirmingham  |  February 8, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Missouri lawmakers propose a 'Don't Say Gay Bill' that goes a step further than Florida's

    Missouri lawmakers are pushing to prohibit sexual orientation and LGBT-related topics from being discussed in a classroom in a bill dubbed more extreme than Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law.

    Sen. Mike Moon's proposed bill heard on Tuesday goes farther than Gov. Ron DeSantis' bill by barring gender identity lessons in grades K-3 – unless it is provided by a mental health care provider with parent permission.

    State Democrats didn't take Moon's proposal lightly as Democtatic Sen. Greg Razer claimed it was the 'most disrespectful bill' since 2017, when he was elected.

    Razer added that he is an openly gay senator and fears teachers in his Kansas City district will no longer be able to inform their students about him.

    'What is so offensive about me that it can't be talked about in schools?' Razer questioned.

    Katy Erker-Lynch, director of an LGBTQ state advocacy group, warned lawmakers that the law would 'systematically and very specifically ease LGBTQ identity and presence from [K-3] classrooms.'

    'The bill follows the lead of Florida's `Don't Say Gay´ bill but does so with broader impact and implications than any bill being considered in the nation,' Erker-Lynch said.

    Florida has also lead the way for similar bills in other states, including in North Carolina where lawmakers are set to vote next week on whether to allow instruction about sexuality and gender identity in K-4 classes or not, according to AP.

    The law would also ensure parents are notified if their child requests a name or pronoun change.

    Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Kansas are also pushing for a law similar to Florida's and helping remove what is being taught in public schools about sexuality and gender.

  • 67. ianbirmingham  |  February 9, 2023 at 12:37 am

    The ABA Decides That Courtrooms Shouldn't Still Have Confederate Flags In Them. Also, There Are Courtrooms With Confederate Flags Still In Them.

    Confederate memorabilia “and other symbols of racial and ethnic bias” should be removed from facilities where court proceedings are held, according to a resolution passed Monday by the ABA House of Delegates. Resolution 402 was submitted by the Virgin Islands Bar Association and heard by the House during the 2023 ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans. An accompanying report notes that ABA’s Goal III is eliminating bias and enhancing diversity in the profession.

    Arkansas, former member of the Confederacy mind you, still has a former plantation that was turned into a prison where prisoners are currently picking cotton. Unsurprisingly, like holding a thematic office party plantation retreat, not everyone is equally enthused by the thematic choices that have been made in legal settings.

    In Giles County, Tennessee, juries deliberate in what the report refers to as a “Confederate Jury Room.” Room decorations include a Confederate flag, portraits of Confederate leaders and United Daughters of the Confederacy symbols.

    Tim Gilbert, a Tennessee criminal defendant convicted of aggravated assault, had a jury that deliberated in the Confederate Jury Room. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals granted him a new trial in 2021, finding that the jury was exposed to improper outside influence and the state did not sufficiently rebut the presumption of prejudice.

  • 68. ianbirmingham  |  February 9, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Congregants weep and hug each other in celebration as Church of England endorses plans to let priests bless gay couples

    Congregants wept and hugged each other as the Church of England voted in favour of a motion to offer blessings to same-sex couples in civil partnerships and marriages today.

    The decision came after a marathon emotional near-eight hour debate across two days ended in a vote for the motion – which did not seek to change the position on gay marriage, meaning same-sex couples are still unable to marry in church.

    But this approval is a landmark moment for LGBT issues within the Church, which have set deep divides amongst the Anglican congregation for four decades.

    Same-sex couples may now attend Anglican churches after a legal marriage ceremony for services including prayers of dedication, thanksgiving and God's blessing.

    The motion had been brought by the Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, and was the result of six years of work on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage known as Living In Love And Faith.

  • 69. VIRick  |  February 9, 2023 at 10:52 am

    Edomex: Collective LGBT Marriage Event Planned for Nezahualcóyotl

    Per Eje19:

    Se preparan más de 15 parejas de la comunidad LGBTTTIQ para contraer matrimonio igualitario en Nezahualcóyotl a través de la gran celebración de las Bodas Colectivas Gratuitas de Neza 2023.

    More than 15 couples from the LGBTTTIQ community are preparing to contract equal marriage in Nezahualcóyotl through the grand celebration of the Cost-Free Collective Weddings of Neza 2023.

    Presumably, the free collective weddings will take place in Neza on Valentine's Day, as is traditional all over Mexico on this date. However, for Neza and its out, gay mayor, this will be the first occasion where same-sex couples will be legally able to participate in such.

  • 70. VIRick  |  February 9, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    Hungary: Constitutional Court Rules against Legal Gender Recognition

    Per Háttér Society:

    On 2 February 2023, the Constitutional Court of Hungary finally rendered its decision in one of the pending cases on the impossibility of legal gender recognition for trans persons. The decision ignores the Court's own previous decisions and unequivocally contradicts international human rights standards. Háttér Society is taking the cases to the ECHR in Strasbourg.

    In June 2021, a judge decided to suspend the case in front of them and petition the Constitutional Court, arguing that the provision of the Act on Registry Procedures, which makes it impossible to amend the sex at birth, is in violation of the Fundamental Law. The judge submitted that the impugned provisions are contrary to the right to human dignity and respect for private life. After 1 1/2 years of silence, the Constitutional Court has finally ruled on the judge’s petition that challenged the law as amended by Section 33.

    The Constitutional Court's decision perfectly illustrates how fundamental rights issues can be reduced to mere legal technicalities. The majority of the Constitutional Court, in order to meet the government's expectations and keep the contested rule in force, even went against its own decision of five years ago. In its 2018 ruling, which found an unconstitutional omission in the context of a constitutional complaint by a client of Háttér Society, it stated that "(…) every person has an inalienable right to bear their own name representing their (self-)identity. (…) The name changing connected to the change of gender is a special case of the above: it is based on the identity of "HUMAN" and the inviolability of equal human dignity.”

  • 71. scream4ever  |  February 9, 2023 at 9:16 pm

    This is what Republicans dream about for the US.

  • 72. Elihu_Bystander  |  February 10, 2023 at 5:57 am

    Keep in mind who the political leader, prime minister, Viktor Orbán is. A Trumpian right wing-nut.

  • 73. VIRick  |  February 9, 2023 at 5:10 pm

    India: Transgender Couple Welcomes Biological Baby

    A transgender couple from the southern Indian state of Kerala, whose pregnancy photos made global news, have welcomed their baby with "tears of joy". Ziya Paval said her partner Zahad had given birth to the baby on Wednesday morning, 8 February 2023.

    Ms Paval shared the news on Instagram, posting a photo of the baby who was born nearly a month early. They told the BBC that both Mr Zahad and the baby, whose name and gender they have not revealed, were fine.

    Ms Paval and Mr Zahad, who uses only one name, have said it was their dream to become parents. Both had paused their hormone therapy during the duration of the pregnancy, a pregnancy that was considered a rarity in India because "no one else has called themselves a biological parent in the transgender community, as far as we know."

    Mr Zahad, an accountant, said he planned to go back to work after two months, as Ms Paval takes care of the baby.

    To be clear, Ms Paval impregnated Mr Zahad who then carried the couple's baby to term. Previously, the only other instance like this of which I am aware, was that of the president of the Ecuadorian Federation of LGTBI Organizations, Diane Rodríguez, who in 2015 impregnated her partner, Fernando Machado, who carried their biological baby to term.

  • 74. VIRick  |  February 9, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    Dominican Republic: New Retrograde Changes to Penal Code Again Being Proposed

    Per José Horacio Rodríguez, Diputado del Distrito Nacional y Vicepresidente de Opción Democrática:

    Atentos al Código Penal aprobado hoy, el 9 de febrero 2023, en primera lectura en el Senado. Junto a compas de Opción Democrática, les explicó por qué queremos un Código Penal robusto y garante de derechos:

    Attentive to the Penal Code approved today, 9 February 2023, in the first reading in the Senate. Along with friends of Opción Democrática, it is explained to you why we want a robust Penal Code that guarantees rights:

  • 75. VIRick  |  February 10, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    Sri Lanka: Government Supports Bill Decriminalizing Same-Sex Sexual Relations

    On 9 February 2023, the government of Sri Lanka said it supports a bill that would decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations in the country.

    According to Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry, as told to the "Daily Morning," a Sri Lanka newspaper, “There is a private member bill initiated by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and Government MP, attorney Premnath C. Dolawatte. The government will support that position of decriminalizing same-sex relationships. We are, however, not legalizing same-sex marriages. I think that there is a lot of consensus for that, so let that come to Parliament.”

    Currently, Sections 365 and 365A of the Sri Lanka Penal Code criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations in the former British colony. In March 2022, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) published a decision that found that the criminalization laws violated the rights of Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, executive director of Equal Ground, a Sri Lanka LGBTQ and intersex rights group.

  • 76. ianbirmingham  |  February 11, 2023 at 1:40 am

    Florida: Governor DeSantis to run Disney district after ‘Don’t Say Gay’ feud

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will soon take control of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district after Senate Republicans approved a bill Friday punishing the company over its opposition to the law critics call “Don’t Say Gay.”

    The Disney district takeover was initiated last year when Disney publicly opposed “Don’t Say Gay,” which bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and lessons deemed not age-appropriate.

    Last week, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate, in coordination with the governor, ordered lawmakers to return for another special session to complete the state takeover of the district.

  • 77. VIRick  |  February 11, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    Durango: Collective LGBT Marriage Event Planned for Durango and Gómez Palacio

    Per "El Siglo de Torreón:"

    Se Registran 11 Parejas del Mismo Sexo para Bodas Comunitarias en Durango y Gómez Palacio

    De acuerdo con Nazario Ortega, director estatal del Registro Civil (de Durango), de ese total de parejas que se han registrado en las diferentes oficialías, seis parejas contraerán matrimonio en la capital, (Victoria de Durango,) ceremonia colectiva que habrá de celebrarse el 13 de febrero; y las 5 parejas restantes, lo harán en Gómez Palacio, sede que congregará a los municipios laguneros en la ceremonia colectiva a celebrarse el 14 de febrero.

    Eleven Same-Sex Couples Registered for Communal Weddings in Durango and Gómez Palacio

    According to Nazario Ortega, state director of the (Durango) Civil Registry, of the total number of couples who have registered with the different official offices, 6 will contract marriage in the capital, (Victoria de Durango,) a collective ceremony to be held on 13 February; and the remaining 5 couples will do so in Gómez Palacio, the venue that will bring together the Laguna municipalities in a collective ceremony to be celebrated on 14 February.

    This will be the first occasion in Durango state in which LGBT couples will be legally able to participate in traditional collective marriage events slated to be held throughout Mexico on or around Valentine's Day. As noted, the Durango state government intends to host two separate cost-free collective ceremonies in two different locations.

  • 78. ianbirmingham  |  February 12, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    Inaugural 'Pride of the Americas' parade in Fort Lauderdale

    Click through the link below to see photographs from this event!

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