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2/14 open thread


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


  • 1. VIRick  |  February 14, 2023 at 11:34 am

    UK Government to Block Wales Gender Recognition Law

    The Tory government of UK Prime Minster Rishi Sunak will block any effort by the Welsh government to push forward plans to reform gender recognition laws that would allow transgender Welsh to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, a British government spokesperson said on 13 February 2023.

    Plans for improving the Gender Recognition Act affecting transgender persons in Wales has the backing of the Senedd Cymru, and is based on similar legislation already put forward in the Scottish Parliament. However, in mid-January 2023, the UK government blocked that Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from being signed into law.

    The Gender Recognition Reform bill introduced by the Scottish government into their Parliament (Holywood) last spring was passed in a final 86-39 vote in mid-December 2022. That reform bill would have modified the Gender Recognition Act (2004) by allowing transgender Scots to gain legal recognition without the need for medical diagnosis. The measure further stipulated that the age limit for legal recognition be lowered to 16.….

  • 2. VIRick  |  February 14, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    South Dakota Bans Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Trans Youth

    On 13 February 2023, ignoring the warnings of families, advocates, health care providers, and transgender South Dakotans themselves; South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed HR 1080 into law, banning gender-affirming health care for any trans person under 18.

    South Dakota is the fourth state in the country and the second state this legislative session to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth, after Utah passed a similar ban in January. Similar laws that were passed in 2022 in Alabama and in 2021 in Arkansas are currently enjoined by federal courts.

  • 3. VIRick  |  February 15, 2023 at 10:43 am

    Veracruz: For First Time, Same-Sex Couples Participate in Collective Wedding Ceremony

    Per Deveritas:

    El Aquarium del Puerto de Veracruz se llena de flores, corazones, y mucho amor. Allí, por primera vez, parejas del mismo sexo contraen matrimonio legalmente en las Bodas Colectivas.

    The Aquarium at the Port of Veracruz is filled with flowers, hearts, and lots of love. There, for the first time, same-sex couples legally contract marriage in the Collective Weddings.

    As is traditional throughout Mexico, on 14 February 2023, the Veracruz state government officially sponsored a cost-free collective wedding event wherein which 230 couples were simultaneously civilly married in a mass ceremony on the plaza at the Veracruz aquarium. Per the photos, at least four of the participating couples were same-sex couples.

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 15, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    Puerto Rico: First LGBTQ Federal Judge for Commonwealth Confirmed

    On 14 February 2023, the US Senate confirmed the nomination of Judge Gina Méndez Miró to the federal court of the District of Puerto Rico, making her the first LGBTQ person to serve in the position on the island. Méndez, who previously served on the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals, was approved by a 54-45 vote margin.

    The approval of Méndez into the federal judiciary comes as an attempt from Democratic lawmakers and the Biden administration to reshape the judicial branch to fit the country’s ever-changing demographics. Democratic senators say 65 of President Biden’s judicial nominees have been women, while 68 of them have been people of color. Méndez is the 100th Biden judicial nominee who the Senate has approved.

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 15, 2023 at 4:39 pm

    Idaho: Bill to Criminalize Gender-Affirming Care for Minors Advances

    Idaho is advancing a bill that would make it a felony to provide gender-affirming care to minors. On 14 February 2023, the state’s House of Representatives approved HB 71, which would make it a crime to authorize or provide puberty blockers, hormone treatment, or gender-confirmation surgery to people under 18. Conviction would carry a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $5,000. The bill now goes to the Idaho Senate.

    The House vote came largely along party lines, with all 11 Democrats and one Republican opposing it, and with 58 Republicans voting in favor, the "Idaho Capital Sun" reports.

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 16, 2023 at 9:59 am

    Spain: Parliament Expands Abortion and Trans Rights, Bans "Conversion Therapy"

    On 16 February 2023, the Spanish parliament approved two legislative bills expanding abortion and transgender rights for teenagers, while making Spain the first country in Europe that will entitle workers to paid leave. The changes to sexual and reproductive rights mean that 16- and 17-year-olds in Spain can now undergo an abortion without parental consent.

    Period products will now be offered free in schools and prisons, while state-run health centers will do the same with hormonal contraceptives and the morning-after pill. The menstrual leave measure allows workers suffering debilitating period pain to take paid time off. In addition, the changes enshrine into law the right to have an abortion in a state hospital.

    On the same date, a separate package of reforms approved by lawmakers strengthened transgender rights, including allowing any citizen over 16 years old to change their legally registered gender without medical supervision. Minors between 12-13 years old will need a judge’s authorization to change, while those between 14 and 16 must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

    Previously, transgender people needed a diagnosis by several doctors of gender dysphoria. The second law also bans so-called “conversion therapy" for LGBTQ people and provides state support for lesbians and single women seeking IVF treatment.

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 16, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    Note to Wikipedia: Please Up-Date "LGBT Rights in Americas"

    For the Mexico portion of this listing "Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name," the most-recent up-date on this page is dated 2021:

    A lot has happened since:….….

    Based on this full, up-dated list provided by "Homosensual,"….

    overall, from 22 December 2022, Zacatecas is state #20 in Mexico, and the third state in 2022, to have revised its Family Code to allow for self-identifying name/gender change on official documents. The other two to do so are: Sinaloa in March 2022, and Baja California in January 2022 (from 2019, Baja had been doing so by administrative decree). Two other states, Chihuahua and Jalisco, continue to allow for name/gender change by such decree/court order. The other 18 have all revised their Family Codes.

    And since then, effective from 19 January 2023, Durango state (jurisdiction #21) has come under federal court order to allow for self-identifying name/gender change on official documents:….

  • 8. VIRick  |  February 17, 2023 at 10:10 am

    To Wikipedia Editors: Do not worry, as I just made the additions myself. Still, I have no idea whether or not I entered them correctly. As for citations, the same "Homosensual" article is already cited, as Edgar Ulises has been keeping it up-to-date. His most-recent version of it is now dated 23 December 2022.

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  February 17, 2023 at 6:20 am

    Ocean County, New Jersey: "A Hotbed Of Homophobic Bullying"

    'There were days where I would break up three fights before home room even started.'

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 17, 2023 at 10:50 am

    California: State Constitutional Amendment Proposed for Ending Proposition 8

    California Assembly member Evan Low and State Senator Scott Wiener have teamed with Equality California and other LGBTQ advocacy groups to help voters protect marriage equality in California via the ballot box.

    On 14 February 2023, the group unveiled Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5. The amendment would remove discriminatory language from the California state Constitution placed there in 2008 by the controversial Proposition 8, which declared “only marriage between a man and a woman” was legal in the state. Low, Wiener, and the amendment’s supporters hope to place the proposed amendment before voters in the 2024 election.

    The defunct Proposition 8, which is officially known as the California Marriage Protection Act, was approved by voters in 2008 with 52.24 percent of votes cast. The law was later ruled unconstitutional by a state court and marriage equality was further protected on the federal level with the historic 2015 decision by the US Supreme Court in "Obergefell v. Hodges." However, both Justices Thomas and Alito have expressed an interest in overturning that decision, and advocates fear that they may have become emboldened with the rejection of "Roe v. Wade."

    ACA 5 must now pass both chambers of the California legislature with a two-thirds vote in each before it would be put before voters in 2024. It does not require Gov. Newsom’s signature to advance, although he could call for a special election at an earlier date. The proposed amendment would require only a simple majority of votes to become law.

  • 11. Sagesse  |  February 17, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    It's jarring to recall how lengthy and expensive this process is in California. But necessary.

    I began following this board with the live blogging of the Prop 8 trial, through the appeals and the Supreme Court process, and the activity in other states. Haven't commented actively in years.

  • 12. scream4ever  |  February 17, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    Given the large majorities Democrats enjoy in both chambers of the California state legislature, I expect this will pass like a hot knife through butter.

  • 13. Elihu_Bystander  |  February 18, 2023 at 4:02 am

    Do not assume that this will be a slam dunk when it comes to the people's vote. We will have to work very hard on a get out the vote campaign, otherwise we may lose when it come to the final vote. Organizations like the ADF, Liberty, and the Roman Catholic Church will work very hard against this referendum. Oddly, the LDS Church may support us this time around. Remember, they supported the Respect for marriage act.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  February 18, 2023 at 8:02 am

    Considering they were the main force behind Prop 8 that really says something doesn't it? Nevada voted to repeal their amendment in 2020 with no campaigning whatsoever and it passed by 25 points. California is WAY more progressive than Nevada mind you.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 17, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Andorra: Marriage Equality Law Enters into Effect, Nation #34

    Per Lucho de Barcia y Radio Reflejos:

    Excelentes noticias desde Andorra: Hoy viernes, 17 de febrero del 2023, entra en vigor la ley de matrimonio igualitario.

    Excellent news from Andorra: Today, Friday, 17 February 2023, the marriage equality law enters into effect.

  • 16. VIRick  |  February 17, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    Chihuahua: First Non-Binary Birth Certificate Issued without Amparo, First in Mexico

    Per Mexico Igualitario y Cheros AC Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua:

    Emite Chihuahua la primer acta de nacimiento para una persona no inbaria sin promover juicio de amparo, gracias a la jurisprudencia de identidad de 2017. En días pasados, la oficina del registro civil en Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, adecuó la primer acta de nacimiento en el estado a una persona no binaria (en lugar de "H" o "M," aparezca "X.")

    Actualmente, Guanajuato, Tabasco, Jalisco, Nuevo León, y CDMX son las entidades donde se han modificado actas de nacimiento para personas no binarias con ayuda de una sentencia de algún juzgado. Pero en Chihuahua, a todas las personas que hayan sido registradas en el estado que se interesen y sean no binarias, el tramite es fácil y práctico: Directamente acudir con el oficial del registro civil. Su trámite tiene un costo de 282.00 pesos por la corrección y 114.00 pesos por el acta.

    Chihuahua issues the first birth certificate for a non-binary person without requiring an amparo judgment, thanks to the gender identity jurisprudence of 2017. A few days ago, the civil registry office in Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, adapted the first birth certificate in the state for a non-binary person (in place of "M" or "F," "X" appears.)

    Currently, Guanajuato, Tabasco, Jalisco, Nuevo León, and CDMX are the entities where birth certificates for non-binary persons have been modified with the help of a court ruling. But in Chihuahua, to all persons who have been registered in the state who are interested and are non-binary, the process is easy and practical: Go directly to the civil registry official. Their procedure has a cost of 282.00 pesos for the correction and 114.00 pesos for the certification.

  • 17. scream4ever  |  February 18, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    I don't think they'll take an official stance on it to be honest. Their involvement in Prop 8 damaged their brand bad.

  • 18. Deeelaaach  |  February 18, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    I know you're right about damage to their brand. I hope you're right about the official stance they will – or won't – take.

  • 19. Randolph_Finder  |  February 19, 2023 at 8:15 am

    A few points. The church learned from Prop 8 more or less immediately. By the time that SSM made it to the ballot in Maryland (2012), the only thing that I heard from the pulpit (Married to an LDS) was reminder *not* to use church resources for political purposes. And that actions were being taken against those in a neighboring stake that had done so, using Church mailing/phone lists to try to get people involved.

    As for BSA, I think it was a number of things. Yes, it was part of the Church's effort to be equal in each country/language (some country's scouting setup would never have worked with the way the Church ran things in ways completely unrelated to gays). Part of it was being part of the Fiscal backbone without getting their way. Part of it being as high as it was (I've heard 1/5-1/4) is that more or less they registered everyone in the unit who was of the appropriate age (frankly whether they wanted to be or not). And part of the high number of eagle scouts was the support for LDS parents who would *hardcore* limit what a teen could do without an Eagle. (at the "you can only get your learner's permit for driving after your Eagle Scout is awarded)

    And what they tried to put in to replace it, the startup got hit by COVID *really* badly. And there are still *lots* of members that would like to see it come back as it was rather than what they have now. (of *course* the young men are getting more out of the budget than the young women. 🙁 )

  • 20. VIRick  |  February 19, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    District of Columbia: First LGBT Federal Judge Confirmed to US District Court for DC

    On 15 February 2023, the US Senate voted 51-47 to confirm President Biden’s nomination of DC attorney Ana C. Reyes to become what DC Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton announced will be the first Latina woman and the first openly LGBT person to serve as a judge on the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

    Reyes was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and grew up in Louisville KY. She received her bachelor’s degree from Kentucky’s Transylvania University in 1996 and her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2000. She also received a master’s degree in International Public Policy with distinction from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

    Reyes’ Senate confirmation came nine months after Biden submitted her nomination in May 2022. Senate records show Biden resubmitted her nomination in January 2023 after it had expired at the end of the previous Congress.

  • 21. VIRick  |  February 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    South Korea: Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Gay Couple on Spousal Health Insurance

    On 21 February 2023, a South Korean appellate court ruled in favor of a same-sex couple demanding the same spousal coverage from the state health insurance program as that already provided to heterosexual couples. The Seoul High Court delivered the landmark ruling, overturning the lower court's decision that stated that marriage in South Korea is considered a union between a man and a woman, and that there are no legal grounds to expand the concept to also include same-sex couples.

    The plaintiff, So Seong-wook, filed the administrative lawsuit against the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) in February 2021, after the agency ordered him to pay his own insurance premiums, once he was deemed not qualified to be a dependent of his male spouse.

    So claimed that he and his partner were discriminated against, as the NHIS presently grants spousal coverage to common-law partners. By law, South Korea currently does not legally recognize same-sex marriages.

  • 22. VIRick  |  February 20, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    Philippines: Video of Quezon City LGBTQ Collective Commitment Ceremony

    Per "Manila Bulletin" and Noel Pablate:

    On 14 February 2023, Valentine's Day, 240 LGBTQ couples exchanged vows in the Quezon City commitment rites ceremony. A video has been made showing a portion of the collective proceedings, but I am unable to provide a separate link to it.

    Instead, one can view said video by connecting to it via the above-cited news article concerning the court ruling in South Korea, here:

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  February 21, 2023 at 12:28 am

    Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley tells Iowa rally that Ron DeSantis' 'Don't Say Gay' law 'doesn't go far enough'

  • 24. VIRick  |  February 21, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Rhode Island: Ciciline to Resign from Congress on 1 June 2023

    US Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) will step down from Congress on 1 June 2023 to become CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, the largest non-profit in the state, the congressman announced today., 21 February.

    The move bookends 28 years in public service for Cicilline, who was elected to Rhode Island’s House of Representatives in 1995 before becoming mayor of Providence in 2003, making history as the first openly gay mayor of a state capital, and then representing Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District in the US House of Representatives since 2010.

    The 61-year-old’s announcement likely came as a surprise to many in Washington: Cicilline, now serving his seventh term, was favored to continue winning re-election for his seat in Congress, where he has distinguished himself to such an extent that he is often described as one of his party’s rising stars.

    A member of House Democratic leadership who was elected to chair the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee from 2019-2021, Cicilline serves as a senior member of the powerful House Foreign Affairs and the House Judiciary Committees and was distinguished as one of the nine Democrats selected in 2021 by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to manage the chamber’s second impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

  • 25. VIRick  |  February 22, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    Texas: First Equal Marriage at Mexican Consulate in San Antonio

    Per Consulmex San Antonio:

    El día de hoy, el 22 de febrero 2023, celebramos el primer matrimonio igualitario en el Consulado de México en San Antonio, en compañía de familia y amistades.

    Today, 22 February 2023, along with family and friends, we celebrate the first equal marriage at the Mexican Consulate in San Antonio.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  February 24, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    How Americans view relationship practices

    Americans are more likely to strongly or somewhat approve (83%) of monogamy than to strongly or somewhat disapprove (11%) of it, giving it a net score of +72. For the purposes of this question, YouGov provided brief definitions of each relationship practice; monogamy was defined as "A relationship where two partners have a commitment to be sexually and emotionally exclusive with each other."

    Slightly more Americans approve than disapprove of a "friends with benefits" dynamic (+10), where two people who are friends have sex without the expectation of a romantic commitment. Men under 45 are more approving (+38) than women under 45 (+12), men 45 and over (+4), and women 45 and older (-6).

    Asked about six other relationship styles that could fall under the category of non-monogamy, more Americans disapprove than approve of open relationships (-26), throuples (-29), polyamory (-31), swinging (-35), and polygamy (-49). In each case, 18- to 44-year-olds are more approving than adults over 45.

    Polygamy — the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time — receives the lowest levels of net approval of the seven dynamics asked about. Two-thirds of Americans (68%) oppose the legalization of polygamy; 18- to 29-year-olds (52%) are less likely to oppose it.

    Though most Americans do not want polygamy legalized, about half either think it will be legalized in the next 50 years (18%) or are uncertain (30%). Half (52%) say it will not become legal in the next 50 years.

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 25, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    Kenya: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Registration of an LGBTIQ NGO

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 24 February 2023, the Supreme Court of Kenya has dismissed an appeal by the NGO Co-Ordination Board against a High Court order that it register an NGO seeking to advocate for the rights of LGBTIQ persons in Kenya. The NGO, known as National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), had applied for registration in 2012, but was denied by the Board on the grounds that its proposed name was contrary to Sections 162, 163, and 165 of the Penal Code which criminalize gay and lesbian liaisons.

    In 2013, the NGO challenged the Board’s decision in the High Court, arguing that it violated its right to freedom of association under Article 36 of the Constitution and its right against discrimination under Article 27. In 2015, the High Court agreed with the NGO and ordered the Board to register it within 30 days. The Board appealed to the Court of Appeal, which, in 2019, also upheld the High Court’s decision. Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that the NGLHRC was not required to exhaust internal remedies under the NGO Co-Ordination Act, as neither the Act nor the regulations provide for any internal dispute resolution mechanism for the administrative action concerned.

    The court also held that the Board’s decision violated the NGLHRC’s right to freedom of association under Article 36 of the Constitution, and was discriminatory. The court noted that it would be unconstitutional to limit the right to associate, through denial of registration of an association, purely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the applicants.

  • 28. VIRick  |  February 25, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    India: Supreme Court Plea Seeks Transgender Recognition Under Special Marriage Act

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Special Marriage Act (SMA) of 1954 refers to "husband" and "wife" and "male" and "female," but today, 25 February 2023, the Supreme Court issued a notice in response to a petition from members of the transgender community asking that the words "or spouse" be read to include all people, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. The argument made in the petition was that only transgender people in India who have had their names and genders changed in all of their official documents to reflect their gender as females are allowed to get married.

    The petition further requests that the Special Marriage Act of 1954’s Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 46, which impose requirements for the publication of a 30-day public notice and give the Marriage Registrar the authority to receive objections and make decisions regarding those objections, be declared unconstitutional as a violation of Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution.

    The argument further stated that the Supreme Court explicitly recognized the right to gender identity self-determination in its ruling in "National Legal Service Authority v. Union of India," and called for the recognition of transgender people’s rights under Part III of the Constitution, including the right to marry, own property, adopt children, and start a family.

    “Since the right to gender identity and autonomy is protected under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution, transgender persons cannot be deprived of their right to marry. The continuation of Sections 4, 22, 23, 27, and 44 and Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 46 of the Special Marriage Act violates this right,” the petition stated.

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  February 27, 2023 at 8:53 am

    South Korean gay couple sees court win as breakthrough for equality

    For So Sung-uk and Kim Yong-min, who last week won a landmark Seoul court ruling on national health coverage for gay couples, the tide may finally be turning in their years-long struggle for equal recognition in South Korea for LGBT partnerships.

    Kim added that the reversal was a relief for the country's LGBTQ community.

    "People have been feeling tired of not seeing much progress for a long time," he said.

    In South Korea, where LGBT anti-discrimination laws face strong resistance from conservative religious groups and others, the decision was hailed by human rights group Amnesty International as a "step towards marriage equality".

    Taiwan is alone among Asian governments in recognising same-sex marriages, which it legalised in 2019, although Thailand's legislature is moving forward with bills that could lead to approval while court cases have pressed for LGBT couples' rights in India and Japan.

    South Korea's health service said in a statement it would conduct a legal review to decide whether to challenge the latest court decision before the Supreme Court.

    A survey by South Korean pollster Realmeter last year found that nearly seven in 10 respondents said an anti-discrimination law was necessary.

  • 30. VIRick  |  February 27, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Meatball Transforms from George Santos into Kitara Rivache in Drag Stage Spectacle

    Per Marjouie Gaylor Queen:

    A Los Angeles-based performer did a show this past weekend during which her interpretation of New York Rep. George Santos' transformation into drag queen Kitara Rivache received much attention online for their uncanny resemblance. More than 250,000 people have watched the video of the performance at Sasha Velour's monthly drag night, NightGowns, at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.

    The dynamic performance is riveting, with Meatball transforming from drab to fab in front of the audience's eyes. A spotlight reveals Meatball, who looks like Santos wearing a blue suit, signature glasses, and stilettos. Kesha's 2017 track "This is Me" begins to play.

    As Meatball as Santos lip syncs to the lyrics of the hit song from the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman, the performer begins to tear away items of the conservative-looking suit they're wearing, to cheers from the crowd. After removing all garments from her body, Meatball stands before the room wearing a red dress similar to the one made famous by a photograph of Santos as his drag persona, Kitara Rivache.

    Toward the end of the performance, Meatball even pulls out a cheap-looking long black wig, similar to Rivache, and prances across the stage. As she wraps a red feather boa around herself, Meatball mouths the closing words of the song, "When the sharpest words wanna cut me down. I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown 'em out. This is brave, this is bruised. This is who I'm meant to be, this is me." A bemused group of onlookers cheers vigorously after the performance.

    Also enjoy the bonus "review/revue" of the performance by Marjorie Gaylor Queen which is embedded in the "Advocate" article.

  • 31. ianbirmingham  |  February 28, 2023 at 6:45 am

    China purging 'Western erroneous views' from legal education

    China has ordered closer adherence to the dictates of the ruling Communist Party and leader Xi Jinping in legal education, demanding that schools “oppose and resist Western erroneous views” such as constitutional government, separation of powers, and judicial independence.

    Similar directives have been issued in the past, with students encouraged to report professors who speak positively about Western concepts of governance.

    Despite the intertwining of the Chinese and global economies, Xi has sought to purge liberal Western concepts from the education system, and ordered that foreign religions be “sinicized” in order to operate in China.

    Xi has also attempted, with limited success, to reorganize popular culture along more conservative lines, going so far as to ban “effeminate” men from the state broadcaster.

    Human rights activist lawyers have been detained and intimidated into silence, effectively preventing the emergence of any dissenting voices and any public intellectuals who are independent of the Communist party.

  • 32. VIRick  |  February 28, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    Mississippi: Bill Banning Gender-Affirming Healthcare Signed into Law

    On 28 February 2023, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed House Bill 1125, a bill banning health care treatments for gender dysphoria for transgender youth, prohibiting doctors from providing such care, and stripping parents of the right to guide medical decisions for their own children.

    Mississippi is the fifth state in the country and the third state in the past month to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth after Utah and South Dakota passed their own bans. Similar laws in Alabama and Arkansas are currently enjoined by federal courts.

  • 33. VIRick  |  March 1, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    Panamá: Supreme Court Upholds Unconstitutional Marriage Phraseology

    El Pleno de la Corte Suprema de Justicia declara, 7-2, que el matrimonio igualitario no tiene categoría de derecho humano ni de derecho fundamental. En un fallo del 16 de febrero 2023 y emitido el 1 de marzo 2023, el Pleno de la CSJ declara que no son inconstitucionales la frase “entre un hombre y una mujer,” contenida en el Artículo 26 del Código de la Familia de la República de Panamá.

    The Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice declares, 7-2, that equal marriage does not hold the category of human right nor of a fundamental right. In a ruling dated 16 February 2023 and issued on 1 March 2023, the Plenary of the CSJ declared that the phrase “between a man and a woman,” contained in Article 26 of the Family Code of the Republic of Panamá, is not unconstitutional.

    Needless to say, said myopic and mundanely uninspired ruling is in direct contravention with the CIDH marriage equality ruling, OC 17/24, to which Panamá, as a signatory member of the American Convention on Human Rights, is bound to adhere.

  • 34. VIRick  |  March 1, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    Panamá: "No Es un Derecho Humano, Ni un Derecho Fundamental"

    The Latin press has begun to thoroughly condemn this specific wording, "It Is Not a Human Right Nor a Fundamental Right," taken directly from the Supreme Court ruling in Panamá. For example, from "Eje Central" in Mexico:

    And per "DW Español:"

    El tribunal advirtió que no lo considera "un derecho humano ni un derecho fundamental," pese a los numerosos recursos presentados para que fuese autorizado.�%A

    The court claimed that it does not consider it "a human right nor a fundamental right," despite the numerous appeals presented for it to be authorized.

    Per "Diario Latina:"

    La Corte Suprema de Panamá rechaza el matrimonio igualitario: "No es un derecho."

    The Supreme Court of Panamá rejects marriage equality: "It is not a right."

  • 35. VIRick  |  March 2, 2023 at 5:11 am

    Spain: Transgender Self-ID Law Published, Now in Effect

    Per Enrique Anarte:

    Spain's self-ID law has just been published in today's (1 March 2023) official gazette, meaning that from tomorrow (2 March 2023) trans Spaniards will be able to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis, plus two years of mandatory hormone therapy.

  • 36. VIRick  |  March 2, 2023 at 7:26 am

    Panamá: Critique of Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling Grows More Bitter

    Some of the sharpest criticism appears to be emanating from neighboring Latin countries where people are still awaiting marriage equality recognition themselves. Two examples:

    Per Sociedad Atea y Agnóstica de Venezuela:

    Panorama desalentador, peligroso y un retroceso en materia de derechos para las personas LGBTIQ de Panamá, debido a que está cerrando la puerta de manera contundente al derecho a contraer matrimonio, establecer familias, vivir y amar en libertad.

    Discouraging, dangerous panorama and a regression in terms of the rights for LGBTIQ persons in Panamá, due to the fact of it forcefully closing the door on the right to contract marriage, to establish families, to live and love in freedom.

    Per "Radio País" de Honduras:

    La Corte Suprema de Panamá rechazó reconocer el matrimonio igualitario, al considerar que no es un derecho humano reconocido por la Constitución panameña.

    The Supreme Court of Panamá refused to recognize marriage equality, after considering that it is not a human right recognized by the Panamanian Constitution.

    And yet, worldwide, 34 other countries already recognize marriage equality, of which 12 are Hispanic, with one more in process, and 9 additional still awaiting. Plus, the Supreme Courts of Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, as well as lower courts in Bolivia and Perú, even that of Chile, have all ruled favorably on the constitutionality of marriage equality. Panamá is not that "special," particularly given that its legal system is derived from that of Colombia.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  March 2, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    Russia may be weaponising homophobia, but the war has strengthened Ukraine's fight for LGBT rights

    In June last year, as part of its bid to join the EU, Ukraine ratified the Istanbul Convention, which prohibits violence against women and domestic violence.

    UKRAINEPRIDE, which organises events and works with the media to promote LGBT rights, has also been pushing for the adoption of bill 5488, which would impose penalties for hate crimes.

    Ms Lapina said the bill would make Ukraine safer for everyone regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity.

    One of the main issues the community is fighting for is the legal recognition of same-sex couples.

    "LGBT people are suffering a lot because we are not recognised in our country, we don't have any civil partnership, we don't have any hate crimes protection, we don't have civil rights," Olena Shevchenko, chairperson of LGBT organisation Insight, told ABC's The Drum.

    Under Ukrainian law, if someone in a same-sex relationship dies, their partner cannot collect their body.

    It's still not easy for trans people in Ukraine to access gender-affirming healthcare such as hormones and surgery, with many encountering discrimination from doctors.

  • 38. VIRick  |  March 2, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    Panamá: Critique of Supreme Court Ruling Continues Growing Ever More Bitter

    Per Juan Alonzo:

    Hoy, 1 de marzo 2023, es el Día Internacional de la Cero Discriminación, pero el Estado Panameño decido celebrarlo reforzando el estigma y la discriminación contra las personas LGBTIQ.

    Today, 1 March 2023, is the International Day of Zero Discrimination, but the Panamanian State decided to celebrate it by reinforcing the stigma and discrimination against LGBTIQ persons.

    Juan Alonzo is the Panamanian plaintiff in one of the many marriage equality lawsuits that went before the Supreme Court of Justice of Panamá. In this instance, he and his Colombian spouse are seeking legal recognition of their Colombian civil marriage by the Panamanian State.

    Per Ateo Canalero:

    Asqueroso fallo por parte de la Judicial Panamá. Según ellos, el prohibir el matrimonio igualitario no es discriminación porque no está fundamentado cómo derecho y no tiene convencionalidad.

    Most disgusting ruling by the Panamá Judiciary. According to them, prohibiting marriage equality is not discrimination because it is not founded as a right and does not have conventionality.

  • 39. VIRick  |  March 3, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    Yucatán: First Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per César Briceño:

    Hace un año, el 3 de marzo 2022, después de 13 años de lucha, se publicó en el Diario Oficial el Decreto 475/2022 por el que se corrigió el Código de Familia de Yucatán y la Ley del Registro Civil, haciendo el matrimonio igualitario accesible para todos.

    One year ago, on 3 March 2022, after 13 years of struggle, Decree 475/2022 was published in the Official Gazette, thereby correcting the Yucatán Family Code and the Civil Registry Law, thus making marriage equality accessible to all.

    To say the very least, Yucatán was one of the most noxious jurisdictions in all of Mexico, given their continuing, adamant refusal to comply with the Supreme Court jurisprudence on the subject of marriage equality.

  • 40. VIRick  |  March 3, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    Tennessee: Governor Signs Two Anti-LGBT Bills Banning Drag, Trans Healthcare

    On 2 March 2023, Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed two anti-LGBT laws, the first of which bans “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest” from appearing “on public property” or “in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.”

    As a result, Tennessee is attempting to claim that it has become the first US state to pass a law intended to restrict drag performances, except that the wording in the actual law, as noted above, says no such thing. "Prurient interest" refers to a very narrow definition of obscenity, usually involving the deliberate, public exposure of the genitals. The law also bans performances that are “harmful to minors,” but “the legal definition for ‘harmful to minors’ in Tennessee is very narrow and only covers extreme sexual or violent content with no artistic value. Drag performances do not inherently fall into this category and are protected by the First Amendment.”

    The other law is far more real, as it places a ban on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth, making Tennessee the 6th state to have done so, behind Arkansas, Alabama, Utah, South Dakota, and Mississippi.

    The ACLU has promised lawsuits challenging and blocking both laws from taking effect.

  • 41. VIRick  |  March 3, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    Romania: European Union Court of Justice to Hear Transgender Recognition Case

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The European Union’s top court will hear a case brought by a British-Romanian transgender man against Romanian authorities over their refusal to recognize his gender identity, the Romanian LGBTQ rights organization ACCEPT said on 3 March 2023. The case, which raises questions about free movement and citizenship rights under EU law, was first heard in a Romanian court in 2021, and has now been referred to the European Union Court of Justice.

    Arian Mirzarafie-Ahi moved to the United Kingdom in 2008 and obtained his British citizenship in 2016, which is also when he began his transition, said ACCEPT Romania, which is helping him with his case. UK authorities gave him a gender recognition certificate while the country was still part of the European Union. In 2021, Romanian authorities refused to acknowledge his name and gender change, demanding he follow the lengthy national procedure.

    “Arian’s ability to travel freely in the EU, like any EU citizen, has been unjustifiably restricted, including his ability to visit family members in Romania, because his Romanian passport displays the wrong identity,” ACCEPT said. The organization said the case could set precedent for other transgender persons whose gender recognition is not being acknowledged elsewhere in the EU, harming their ability to travel freely, reside, work, study, or even vote across the EU.

    “The Court will also have the opportunity to confirm that the rights that EU citizens lawfully acquired in the UK when it was still treated as a member state … are portable when those citizens wish to exercise their free movement rights.”

  • 42. VIRick  |  March 4, 2023 at 9:50 am

    CDMX: 13th Anniversary of Marriage Equality in Mexico City

    Per CDHCM:

    En el 13o. aniversario del matrimonio igualitario, el 4 de marzo 2023, la CDHCM refrenda su compromiso de acompañar el reconocimiento de las uniones y familias diversas.

    On the 13th anniversary of marriage equality, 4 March 2023, the CDHCM renews its commitment endorsing the recognition of diverse unions and families.

    CDMX (Mexico City) was the first jurisdiction in Mexico to legalize same-sex unions. To date, more than 15,000 equal marriages have been realized in CDMX.

    CDHCM = Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Ciudad de México (Mexico City Human Rights Commission)

  • 43. VIRick  |  March 4, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Panamá: The Way Forward for Marriage Equality

    Per Fuerza Panameña LGBTIQ:

    Ahora las 2 únicas formas que Panamá apruebe el matrimonio igualitario es a través del sistema Interamericano o a través de una reforma constitucional, ya que la Corte dijo que la Constitución lo prohíbe, cuando no es así. Y ellos lo saben.

    Currently, the only two ways that Panamá can approve marriage equality is through the Inter-American system or through a constitutional reform, now that the Court has said that the Constitution prohibits it, even though it is not so. And they know it.

    And, in addition:

    Per Sociedad Atea y Agnóstica de Venezuela:

    Artículo 58 de la Constitución de Panamá, Código de Familia y Matrimonio: La unión de hecho entre personas legalmente capacitadas para contraer matrimonio, mantenida durante cinco (5) años consecutivos en condiciones de singularidad y estabilidad, surtirá todos los efectos del matrimonio civil. En ninguna parte dice se prohíbe.

    Article 58 of the Constitution of Panamá, Family and Marriage Code: The de facto union between persons legally qualified to marry, maintained for five (5) consecutive years in conditions of singularity and stability, will have all the effects of civil marriage. Nowhere does it say prohibited.

  • 44. VIRick  |  March 6, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Japan: Main Opposition CDP Submits Marriage Equality Bill to Parliament

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 6 March 2023, Japan’s leading opposition party submitted a bill to parliament to legally recognize same-sex marriage in an effort to spur debate on the issue. The Constitutional Democratic Party’s bill proposes amending wording in the country’s Civil Code that was written on the premise that marriage be a union between partners of different sexes. Since February, issues surrounding sexual minorities have attracted more public attention after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sacked one of his executive secretaries who said he would “not want to live next door” to an LGBTQ couple and does “not even want to look at” LGBTQ people.

    In June 2019, the predecessor party of CDP jointly proposed, along with the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, a bill aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage. But, the Diet session at the time closed without it being deliberated.

  • 45. ianbirmingham  |  March 7, 2023 at 4:16 am

    'You've been entertained by drag queens all your life. Don't pretend it's a problem now!': Melissa McCarthy wades in to drag shows debate with post showing Mrs Doubtfire and Tootsie amid a wave of legislation sweeping America to restrict 'adult cabaret' in front of children

    Melissa's supportive Instagram post – a collage of iconic drag characters – comes amid a wave of anti-drag legislation sweeping the U.S. , with Tennessee passing a bill last week that restricts 'adult cabaret performance' in public or in the presence of children.

    Thousands of reactions poured into McCarthy's comments section, with many drag queens, including RuPaul's Drag Race star BenDeLaCreme (inset), thanking the star for her support.

  • 46. VIRick  |  March 7, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Ukraine: Same-Sex Partnership Bill Submitted to Parliament

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A same-sex partnership bill was submitted to Parliament on 7 March 2023 by Inna Sovsun, an opposition MP and deputy head of the Golos Zmin Party,. Last year, President Zelenskyy, whose party holds the majority in Parliament, said he would support LGBT partnerships.

    Per Inna Sovsun:

    Today, I submitted a draft law on the legalization of same-sex partnerships to the Ukrainian Parliament. Since 56% of Ukainians support same-sex partnerships, I hope the majority of the parliament, including Zelenskyy's party, will take the lead from the people!

  • 47. VIRick  |  March 7, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Israel High Court: De Facto Recognition of Online Civil Marriages

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 7 March 2023, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled against the state's appeal of online civil marriages conducted remotely through Utah. The High Court of Justice rejected the state’s appeal on the Utah marriages issue, meaning that the Population Authority is obliged to properly register every couple who got married in this manner. Earlier, the Lod District Court had ruled that the Interior Ministry must recognize those civil marriages performed remotely via an online ceremony in Utah.

    Today's decision thus makes it a de-facto recognition of civil marriages of Israelis performed in Utah by video. According to the court, the Population Authority and Interior Ministry must register any couple who were married in a civil Utah marriage as being married. To date, about 600 Israeli couples have married from their place of residence in Israel without having to physically travel to Utah.

    In Israel, marriage is only allowed in accordance with religious law. It is estimated that about 700,000 people cannot marry in Israel, among them about half a million immigrants who are considered to have no religion, same-sex couples, Reform and Conservative converts, and couples who are invalid according to Halacha.

  • 48. VIRick  |  March 7, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    New Mexico: Senate Passes Bill to Ban Discrimination, Protect Transgender Healthcare and Abortion

    Per Erin Reed:

    On 7 March 2023, HB 7 has been passed in the New Mexico state Senate.This bill will ban discrimination and protect the right to gender-affirming healthcare and to abortions, making it a safe state in which to live in a sea of unfriendly states that target trans people and abortion.

    The bill has already been passed in the New Mexico House, 38-31. However, itl will now go back to the House for full concurrence because of amendments and for final passage.

    Per ACLU of New Mexico:

    The Health Care Freedom Act, HB 7, simply prohibits public bodies, including local municipalities, from denying, restricting, or discriminating against an individual’s right to use or refuse reproductive or gender-affirming care.

  • 49. ianbirmingham  |  March 8, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis bashes gay sex education for teens as 'garbage', touts his book-banning tour of school libraries, slams gay-friendly Broward County as 'the worst'

    'I just think parents, when they're sending their kids to school, they should not have to worry about this garbage being in the schools,' the GOP governor said.

  • 50. VIRick  |  March 9, 2023 at 4:29 am

    Minnesota: Executive Order Issued to Protect Access to Gender-Affirming Healthcare

    Per Governor Tim Walz:

    Today, 8 March 2023, I took executive action to protect access to gender-affirming health care in Minnesota.

    Executive Order 23-03 Protecting and Supporting the Rights of Minnesota's LGBTIQ Community Members to Seek and Receive Gender-Affirming Healthcare Services

  • 51. scream4ever  |  March 10, 2023 at 8:42 am

    Our governor is the best!!!

  • 52. VIRick  |  March 9, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Michigan Lawmakers Pass LGBTIQ-Inclusive Non-Discrimination Bill, State #22

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Michigan lawmakers have passed a bill expanding the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect LGBTQ residents from instances of discrimination in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations. Earlier in March, the bill passed the Michigan Senate, 23-15, with three Republicans voting with all of the chamber’s Democrats to approve it.

    Then, on Wednesday, 8 March 2023, the Michigan House of Representatives voted 64-45, with eight Republicans voting with the Democrats, to advance the measure. The bill now returns to the Senate for enrollment, after which it will head to the desk of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who will sign it into law.

    Democratic lawmakers, who control the legislature for the first time in 40 years, spoke favorably of the bill, which was one of the first six pieces of legislation they introduced on the first day of this year’s legislative session. Taken together, those six bills provide a glimpse at the party’s economic and social agenda, which includes repealing a 1931 ban on abortion, repealing “right-to-work” laws, rolling back the retirement tax for seniors, and expanding the earned income tax credit.

    It has been over 3 years since Virginia, state #21, passed similar LGBTIQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections. In the interval, the US Virgin Islands recently did so, as well, (on 30 December 2022,) but we are not yet counted as a state.

  • 53. VIRick  |  March 9, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    Honduras: A Small Beginning Toward Possible Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

    Per GO TV Honduras:

    Aprobación de la PAE abrirá puertas para que se apruebe el aborto y matrimonio gay, asegura la médico Claudia Ramírez.

    Approval of the PAE will open doors so that abortion and same-sex marriage could be approved, assures the medico, Claudia Ramírez.

    PAE = Pastillas de Anticoncepción de Emergencia, después de haber tenido relaciones sexuales no planeadas y no protegidos (The "morning after" pill, after having had unplanned and unprotected sexual relations).

    PAEs were once freely available at no-cost in Honduras beginning from 1999, that is, until the military dictatorship installed itself in power in 2009. Ever since, PAEs have been banned in Honduras, but the movement to re-legalize their usage is seen as a first step toward much bigger social goals, like legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage. Watch the video from a press conference, as Claudia Ramírez explains, here:

  • 54. ianbirmingham  |  March 10, 2023 at 2:32 am

    How Russia’s War Against Ukraine Is Advancing LGBTQ Rights

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said repeatedly that he attacked Ukraine last year partly to protect “traditional values” against the West’s “false values” that are “contrary to human nature” — code for LGBTQ people. Perhaps he hoped this would rally conservative Ukrainians to Russia’s side — it’s a tactic Kremlin allies have tried repeatedly over the past decade. But this time, it instead appears to be convincing a growing number of Ukrainians to support equality and reject the values Putin espouses.

    Ukraine’s military has more out queer soldiers than ever before, and their stories are reaching a broad audience thanks in large part to the social media of a Ukrainian group called “LGBTIQ Military” and a Ukrainian news media that’s sympathetically covering queer peoples’ contributions to the war effort. Dozens of LGBTQ organizations across Ukraine have transformed themselves into humanitarian relief groups, assisting the displaced and providing food, medicine and other resources to people affected by the fighting.

    As LGBTQ people have demonstrated their commitment to defending Ukraine’s democracy, public opinion has rapidly grown more supportive of reforms to fully recognize their rights as citizens.

    Queer soldiers, who have come out in record numbers amidst the fighting, have been particularly influential in changing broader public opinion. As Inna Sovsun, the member of parliament who authored the partnership legislation, told me, they “give visibility and legitimacy to the claims for equal treatment by the community itself.” They make the case that, “we want equal treatment, because we’re serving in the military equally.’”

  • 55. VIRick  |  March 10, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Chile: 1st Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Hoy, el 10 de marzo 2023, se cumple un año de un hecho histórico que entregaría igualdad a las familias chilenas. Sin embargo, seguimos trabajando por las madres y padres discriminados al reconocer (de los dos padres) y/o inscribir (de los dos padres) a sus hijos. Exigimos la correcta implementación de la ley de matrimonio igualitario.

    Today, 10 March 2023, completes one year since the historic event that would bring equality to Chilean families. However, we continue working for the discriminated mothers and fathers for their (two-parent) recognition and/or their (two-parent) registration of their children. We demand the correct implementation of the marriage equality law.

    Previously, for same-sex couples, only the child's birth mother was recognized, and thus, only the child's birth mother was then inscribed on their birth certificate. A certain number of civil registries have been attempting to retain this old, invalid process. To date, nation-wide, there has been about an 80% compliance rate with the new procedure.

  • 56. ianbirmingham  |  March 12, 2023 at 8:38 pm

    India government opposes recognising same-sex marriage in Supreme Court brief

    The Ministry of Law believes that while there may be various forms of relationships in society, the legal recognition of marriage is for heterosexual relationships and the state has a legitimate interest in maintaining this, according to the filing seen by Reuters, which has not been made public.

    "Living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same sex individuals … is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children," the ministry argued.

    The court cannot be asked "to change the entire legislative policy of the country deeply embedded in religious and societal norms", it said.

    In India, the issue of same-sex marriage is sensitive: speaking openly about homosexuality is taboo for many in the socially conservative country of 1.4 billion people.

    The government has argued that any change to the legal structure should be the domain of the elected parliament, not the court.

    The cases are set to be heard in the Supreme Court on Monday.

  • 57. VIRick  |  March 13, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Chile: First Indigenous Mapuche Marriage of a Same-Sex Couple

    Per Movilh Chile:

    Tenemos el placer y el honor de comunicarles el primer matrimonio mapuche entre personas del mismo sexo que se llevó a cabo en el municipio de Almagro en la Región de Araucanía. Toda la felicidad para Viviana Burgos y Rosa Salamanca.

    We have the pleasure and honor to inform you of the first Mapuche marriage of a same-sex couple, one that took place in the municipality of Almagro in the Araucanía Region. For Viviana Burgos and Rosa Salamanca, we wish complete happiness.

  • 58. VIRick  |  March 13, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Nuevo León: Bill Submitted to State Congress to Codify Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 13 March 2023, in Nuevo León, a bill was submitted to the state congress to codify marriage equality, already legalized by the Supreme Court of Mexico (SCJN) in 2019.

    Per Jessica Martínez, Diputada Estatal de Nuevo León:

    Hoy, me suscribe en la iniciativa de reforma al Código Civil para el Estado de Nuevo León, entregada por LGBT Rights Mexico, para establecer el matrimonio igualitario.

    Today, I subscribed to the initiative to reform the Civil Code for the State of Nuevo León, delivered by LGBT Rights Mexico, to establish marriage equality.

  • 59. VIRick  |  March 14, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    Chile: A Contrast with Tennessee on Public Drag Queen (Transformista) Performances

    Per Victor Hugo Robles:

    Mientras espectáculos públicos de artistas drag queen están prohibidos en Tennessee, Santiago de Chile se destaca por albergar alegría y colores del transformismo local. Lo registré en la marcha por el 8 de marzo 2023, con familias diversas aplaudiendo felices la disidencia sexual:

    While public performances by drag queen artists are prohibited in Tennessee, Santiago de Chile is noted for hosting the joy and colors of local impersonation (transformismo). I recorded this in the march of 8 March 2023, with diverse families happily applauding sexual dissidence:

  • 60. ianbirmingham  |  March 14, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    NC Supreme Court, flipped from 4-3 liberal to 5-2 conservative, seems poised to reverse fair districting & give Republicans the green light to gerrymander away; prior Supreme Court ruled that congressional lines drawn by GOP lawmakers were an illegal partisan gerrymander

    During the 2022 midterms a court-ordered congressional map that resulted in an even split in the state’s congressional delegation ended up being used.

    The state is closely divided. President Joe Biden lost to former President Donald Trump by less than a point-and-a-half in the state in 2020.

    Republicans in the state, if the case breaks their way, could put a new map in place that would have 11 Republican-leaning districts and three Democratic-leaning ones — a significant boost for Republicans’ hopes of keeping the U.S. House.

  • 61. VIRick  |  March 17, 2023 at 6:15 am

    Michigan: Governor Signs Statewide LGBTQ Rights Law

    Michigan is now the 22nd state to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination through legislation. On 16 March 2023, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), signed SB 4 to that effect into law. The action caps over 4 decades of effort to expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, first passed in 1976, to cover sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The new protections apply to employment, housing, and public accommodations.

    On 16 March 2023, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the revised Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, expanding basic protections for the LGBTQ community. The measure, Senate Bill 4, was sponsored by openly gay state Sen. Jeremy Moss.

  • 62. VIRick  |  March 17, 2023 at 8:52 pm

    Venezuela: TSJ Finally Rules Favorably on One Long-Pending LGBT Case

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Venezuela Supreme Court finally annulled the law criminalizing gay sex in the military. Is the next step marriage equality?

    Per "El Regional del Zulia:"

    TSJ Declara Nulidad a Artículo que Penaliza la Homosexualidad en la FAN

    El Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) de Venezuela declaró la nulidad al Artículo 565 del Código Orgánico de Justicia Militar, en el cual se tipifica como delito las relaciones sexuales entre personas homosexuales cuando alguno sea miembro de la Fuerza Armada Nacional (FAN). La decisión se pudo conocer en la sentencia número 0128, publicada el 16 de marzo 2023.

    TSJ Declares Null and Void the Article that Penalizes Homosexuality in the Military

    The Venezuela Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) declared the nullity of Article 565 of the Organic Code of Military Justice, one which defines sexual relations between homosexual persons as a crime if one is a member of the National Armed Forces (FAN). The decision was made known in judgment number 0128, published on 16 March 2023.

  • 63. VIRick  |  March 18, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Kansas: Governor Vetoes Anti-Trans Sports Bill for the Third Time

    For the third year in a row, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has vetoed an anti-transgender sports bill. In her veto message on House Bill 2238, Kelly said that the regulations of the Kansas High School Activities Association are sufficient to ensure fairness in sports.

    So far, 18 other states have restricted trans participation in school sports. In addition, this year, Kansas has not only seen the introduction of this vetoed sports bill, but also a variety of other anti-trans measures, including a ban on gender-affirming care for youth, as well as a “bathroom" bill.

  • 64. ianbirmingham  |  March 19, 2023 at 2:09 am

    Veto of Kansas bill on trans athletes sets up override fight

    Republicans have more than the two-thirds majorities in both chambers needed to override a veto, but in 2021 and 2022, a few GOP moderates voted against overriding Kelly. The House and Senate votes on this year's bill suggest supporters could have just enough votes to prevail.

  • 65. VIRick  |  March 18, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    USA: The Orange A-Hole Will Be Arrested on Tuesday, 21 March 2023

    For the last eight years, ever since Donald J. Trump announced his run for the presidency, we have witnessed a long-running soap opera, complete with plot twists that include untold crimes, secret relationships, hush money, thievery, debauchery, immorality, incitement, palace intrigue, and robbery (allegedly, right?).

    The soapiest of all of Trump’s immoral deeds seems to be coming to crescendo. On Saturday, 18 March 2023, Trump, on his rickety Truth Social, announced that he will be arrested on Tuesday, 21 March 2023, by the Manhattan District Attorney for his role in paying off a porn star to hide an illicit affair.

    With his tiresome flair for spectacle, and in all caps, Trump, in part wrote: “THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.” Apparently, the Orange A-hole is referring to the Orange A-hole himself, but in the third person singular, as if he were actually referring to someone else entirely. And he ominously added, PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”

    It was only a matter of time for this indictment to occur. In December of 2018, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion, making false statements to a federally insured bank, and campaign finance violations for his role in paying hush money to the now famous adult film star, Stormy Daniels. Cohen had pleaded guilty that August, and in exchange for a lighter sentence, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

  • 66. ianbirmingham  |  March 18, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    If this happens, it won't be the first time…

    In 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant was pulled over for speeding in his horse and buggy.

    Grant was reportedly a 'notorious speed demon' who had previously been warned about his speed – and he claimed that he didn't know he was going too fast.

    While his buggy did not have a speedometer, it was the second time he was caught racing around the roads in the capital.

    The 18th president was pulled over by Officer William West, who told President Grant: 'Duty is duty sir, and I will have to place you under arrest.'

    President Grant later paid a $20 fine [about $562.32 in 2023 money] to be released from prison.

  • 67. VIRick  |  March 18, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    Russia: ICC Issues Arrest Warrant, Vladimir Putin Now Officially A Wanted Man

    On 17 March 2023, the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of war crimes over the invasion of Ukraine. The ICC warrants mark the first international charges to be brought since the invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022. Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, are both wanted by the ICC for unlawfully deporting and transporting Ukrainian children to Russia.

    The ICC president, Judge Piotr Hofmański, noted that, per procedures, the court’s chief prosecutor had presented his case against the pair to a panel of pretrial judges, who concluded that there were “credible allegations” against them. The ICC does not recognize diplomatic immunity for government leaders on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide.

    The charges, which do not expire, will make the pair international pariahs, as the 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty that gave rise to the ICC, are all urged to arrest any suspects in their territory.

  • 68. ianbirmingham  |  March 18, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    Italy's gay opposition leader blasts right-wing crackdown on rights of LGBTQ parents as ideological, cruel and discriminatory as thousands protest in Milan

    The Interior Ministry this week forced Milan to limit parental rights to the biological parent of children registered by same-sex couples in the city.

    Democratic Party leader Elly Schlein, who in 2020 revealed she was in a relationship with another woman, vowed on Saturday to push through legislation to better recognize and protect their rights.

    She joined thousands of people at a demonstration in Milan to protest a move by the far-right-led Italian government to restrict the rights of parents in same-sex relationships.

    'You explain to my son that I'm not his mother,' read one sign held up amid a sea of rainbow flags that filled one of the northern city's central squares.

    Italy legalised same-sex civil unions in 2016, but opposition from the Catholic Church meant it stopped short of granting gay couples the right to adopt.

    A mother or father who is not legally recognised as their child's parent can face huge bureaucratic problems, with the risk of losing the child if the registered parent dies or the couple's relationship breaks down.

    The prefecture decree also says parental rights must be limited to the biological parent even for children of same-sex couples who first were registered in other European Union member countries.

    LGBTQ rights groups say the underlying decision by an Italian Senate commission to block the recognition of EU documents puts Italy in line with countries such as Poland and Hungary, strong allies of the Meloni government.

    'This retrograde majority has inexplicably lashed out at children ideologically,' Schlein said.

    'This goes against a European regulation that establishes a trivial thing and that is that if you are recognized as a daughter or son in another European country, you must also be recognized in Italy.'

  • 69. ianbirmingham  |  March 19, 2023 at 3:23 am

    Trumpanzees Entering Their Cages

    Retired Air Force officer Larry Brock, 55, of Grapevine, Texas, who stormed the U.S. Capitol dressed in combat gear and carried zip-tie handcuffs into the Senate gallery, was sentenced on Friday to two years in prison. U.S. District Judge John Bates also sentenced Brock to two years of supervised release after his prison term and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service.

    Mitchell Todd Gardner II, 34, of Seffner, Florida, who was part of a mob just outside the lower west terrace tunnel of Congress and who used a pepper spray device against officers within the tunnel area, was sentenced Thursday to four years and seven months in federal prison on three felony charges.

    Approximately 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot. More than 400 of them have been sentenced, with over half getting terms of imprisonment ranging from seven days to 10 years.

  • 70. VIRick  |  March 19, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    Maryland: House of Delegates Approves Transgender Rights Bill

    On 18 March 2023, the Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people. House Bill 283, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 93-37 vote margin.

    The measure now goes before the Maryland Senate.

  • 71. VIRick  |  March 20, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Wyoming: Latest State with Anti-Trans Sports Law

    The governor of Wyoming condemned an anti-transgender sports bill as “draconian” and “discriminatory,” yet let it become law without his signature. Gov. Mark Gordon (R) also let an abortion ban become law in that same fashion, while signing another abortion bill outlawing medication used for the procedure. Wyoming is the first state to take the latter action. All the new legislation goes into effect from 1 July 2023.

    The sports bill, Senate File 133/Senate Enrolled Act 92, bars trans girls and women from competing in female sports, 8th through 12th grade. On 17 March, Gordon announced that he would not sign nor veto it, but instead, would let it become law without his signature in order to avoid “divisive debates.”

    However, Gordon noted that there are only four known transgender students competing in school sports in Wyoming, out of 91,000 overall, and that the Wyoming High School Activities Association has a policy in place that considers eligibility on a case-by-case basis. “If we are creating policy for a problem that does not exist, my hope is that we can be more thoughtful when it comes to our students,” he wrote. Still, despite his rhetoric, Wyoming is the 19th state to adopt a trans-exclusionary sports law.

    A previously-enacted abortion ban is being challenged in court on the basis that the state constitution of Wyoming says residents have the right to control their own health care. The same constitutional provision would apply regarding the latest abortion ban, as well as any attempt at restricting transgender healthcare.

  • 72. VIRick  |  March 21, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    Bolivia: Constitutional Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage (as Free Unions)

    Bolivia: Corte Constitucional Legaliza Matrimonio del Mismo Sexo (como Uniones Libres)

    Después de una demanda interpuesta por una pareja LGTBI en el 2018, cinco años después, el Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional (TCP) confirmó que se legaliza el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en Bolivia. Los magistrados de la Sala Segunda del TCP publicaron la sentencia N° 0577 el 20 de marzo 2023 donde se aprueba el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo (como uniones libres) en el país.

    Following a lawsuit filed by an LGTBI couple in 2018, five years later, the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (TCP) confirmed that same-sex marriage is legalized in Bolivia. The justices of the Second Chamber of the TCP published ruling No. 0577 on 20 March 2023 whereby same-sex marriage (as free unions) is approved in the country.

    Per Freddy Veloz:

    The Court (el Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional TCP) seems to have ratified the 2020 ruling that legalized civil unions (uniónes libres).

    Per Danko Denker:

    The ruling only applies to the couple who were denied a civil union at a local registry. The court did not mention anything related to either same-sex marriage or civil unions. The court only overturned the registry's resolution denying a civil union and ordered the registry to issue a new one, taking into account the reasons why the court found the first denial unconstitutional.

  • 73. VIRick  |  March 21, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Cuba: An Equal Marriage Tally to Date

    Desde la aprobación del Código de las Familias, se han inscrito 513 matrimonios y 20 uniones de hecho de personas del mismo sexo, así como seis niños con el primer apellido de la madre.

    Since the approval of the Family Code, 513 marriages and 20 de facto unions of same-sex couples have been registered, as well as 6 children with the first surname of the mother.

    In traditional Spanish usage, the child's first surname is that of the father. The second is that of the mother.

  • 74. ianbirmingham  |  March 22, 2023 at 8:09 am

    'Don't Say Gay' lawmaker pleads guilty to COVID relief fraud

    The former Florida lawmaker who sponsored the controversial law critics call “Don’t Say Gay” pleaded guilty Tuesday to committing $150,000 in COVID-19 relief fraud.

    Joseph Harding, a 35-year-old Republican, pleaded guilty in Gainesville federal court to wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in connection with COVID-19 relief fraud, according to court records. He faces up to 35 years in prison at a hearing scheduled for July 25.

    Harding resigned from the Florida House in December, a day after federal prosecutors announced his indictment.

    According to court documents, Harding made false statements to the Small Business Administration while applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan for one of his dormant business entities.

  • 75. VIRick  |  March 22, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Bolivia Will Allow Free Unions Beginning from Tonight, 21 March 2023

    Article datelined 21 March 2023:

    Bolivia Permitirá Unión Libre a Partir de Este Noche, el 21 de Marzo 2023

    Una pareja del mismo sexo ya ingresó su solicitud de unión libre civil ante el Servicio Registro Cívico (Serecí) de Tarija.

    A same-sex couple has already entered their application for a civil free union before the Civic Registry Service (Serecí) of Tarija.

    Per Antonio Medina:

    El Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional (TCP) de Bolivia reconoció el matrimonio igualitario y recomendó a la Asamblea Legislativa adecuar la ley en favor de los derechos del colectivo LGBTI.

    The Plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP) of Bolivia recognized marriage equality and recommended to the Legislative Assembly to adapt the law in favor of the rights of the LGBTI collective.

    Note: In Bolivia, we are presently dealing with an Andorra-type of terminology sleight-of-hand. As for now, marriage is for different-sex couples, while free unions are for same-sex and other gender non-conforming couples. Both marriage and free unions carry the same rights and obligations.

    However, this terminology difference will not stand for long because, on the mere face of it, this attempt at differentiation is unconstitutional. The modern, progressive national constitution of Bolivia bars 23 enumerated means of possible or potential discrimination, among which are included sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • 76. VIRick  |  March 22, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Nepal: Supreme Court Recognizes Foreign Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 22 March 2023, the Supreme Court of Nepal ruled that the government must recognize a foreign same-sex marriage and issue a non-tourist visa to the non-citizen same-sex spouse of an LGBT Nepali. The Court also ordered the government to legislate for full marriage equality nationally within Nepal.

    It would appear that the "Pahichan" English language version of this news event is not yet ready for publication.

  • 77. ianbirmingham  |  March 22, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    As Joe Biden famously said regarding Obamacare, "This is a Big Fucking Deal!"

    Nepal is now the second country in Asia (after Taiwan) to legalize SSM.

    Nepal also has a long (southern) border with India, which adds to the likelihood that India's Supreme Court (which heard oral arguments in its own SSM case(s) just last week) will soon issue a similar ruling. And with India's population being approximately 1.4 billion, a pro-SSM ruling there would certainly be a Ginormous Fucking Deal!

  • 78. VIRick  |  March 22, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    Moldova: 4 Same-Sex Marriage Cases Headed to European Court of Human Rights

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Moldova, four LGBT couples were refused when they sought to register their marriages. They plan to take their challenges to the European Court of Human Rights.

    This news account, written in Romanian but expressed in Soviet-era Cyrillic characters, might have been half-recognizable had it been written in Romanian with Latin characters. As it is, I can only decipher:

    В Молдове 4 ЛГБТ = I Moldoie 4 LGBT = In Moldova 4 LGBT

  • 79. ianbirmingham  |  March 22, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    Easily handled by Google Translate:

    4 LGBT couples in Moldova want to legalize their relationship
    Anzhelika Frolova, coordinator of the Genderdoc-M programs, spoke about this.
    March 5, 2023, 19:24

    According to her, in addition to her and Leo Zbanka, three more LGBT couples want to officially register their marriage, reports with reference to

    Frolova and Zbanka this week were denied acceptance of documents to ASU. They intend to challenge the refusal in court, the source notes.

  • 80. ianbirmingham  |  March 22, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    Disney World defies Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by hosting a gay rights summit

  • 81. VIRick  |  March 22, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    Maryland: State Senate Approves Transgender Rights Bill

    On 20 March 2023, the Maryland Senate approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people. Senate Bill 460, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 31-15 vote margin.

    The Maryland House of Delegates passed a similar measure two days prior.

    “Requiring, beginning on 1 January 2023, the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide gender-affirming treatment in a non-discriminatory manner; requiring that the gender-affirming treatment be assessed according to non-discriminatory criteria that are consistent with current clinical standards; prohibiting the issuance of an adverse benefit determination related to gender-affirming treatment unless a certain experienced health care provider has reviewed and confirmed the appropriateness of the determination;” reads a summary of the bill.

  • 82. ianbirmingham  |  March 22, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    Florida Governor DeSantis to expand ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law to all grades

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ' administration is moving to forbid classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades, expanding the controversial law critics call “Don’t Say Gay” as the Republican governor continues to focus on cultural issues ahead of his expected presidential run.

    The proposal, which would not require legislative approval, is scheduled for a vote next month before the state Board of Education and has been put forward by the state Education Department, both of which are led by appointees of the governor.

    DeSantis has faced calls from at least one Republican presidential contender to go even further than the existing law, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley last month saying the prohibition could be more stringent and extended into later grades.

    The proposed rule change this year also signals the governor's willingness to bypass even the compliant state legislature and instead leverage state boards in order to accomplish his high-profile political goals. Late last year, at DeSantis' urging, state medical boards voted to ban children from receiving hormones or undergoing surgeries to treat gender dysphoria.

    “Everything he does is about what can further his own career ambitions,” said Brandon Wolf, press secretary for the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida. “And it's clear he see the anti-LGBTQ movement as his vehicle to get him where he wants to go.”

  • 83. Randolph_Finder  |  March 23, 2023 at 6:11 am

    What is the situation in Nepal? It appears to be *one* marriage between two men that has been recognized, what does this mean for other couples?

  • 84. VIRick  |  March 23, 2023 at 10:13 am

    Most immediately, it means that any/all other marriages between same-sex couples performed abroad, past, present, and future, and that involve at least one Nepali citizen, must be recognized by the Nepali government, if so requested.

    Longer term, the order requiring the Nepali Parliament to legalize same-sex marriage within Nepal itself is contingent upon the Nepali Parliament actually doing so.

  • 85. VIRick  |  March 23, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Bolivia: Marriage Between Same-Sex Couples Legalized (as Free Unions)

    Per Go Communication Bolivia:

    En Bolivia, la Sala Segunda del Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional (TCP) publicó la Sentencia Constitucional Nº 0577, que legaliza el matrimonio (como unión libre) entre personas del mismo sexo.

    In Bolivia, the Second Chamber of the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (TCP) has published Constitutional Ruling No. 0577, one that legalizes marriage (as free unions) between same-sex couples.

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