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SCOTUS rules in favor of anti-LGBT website designer


On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that there’s a First Amendment exception to anti-discrimination laws. The ruling happened in a case in which a website designer sued Colorado because she said that she might get into designing wedding websites and that if she does, she wouldn’t want to sell a wedding website to a same-sex couple.

The Court’s 6-3 decision allows for that sort of exception based on the idea that requiring her to sell to a same-sex couple would be “compelled speech.” Justice Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion with Chief Justice Robert and Justices Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, and Barrett joining him.

In dissent, Justice Sotomayor (along with Justices Kagan and Jackson) noted that “for the first time in its history” the Court grants “a business open to the public a Constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.

We will have more.

75 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. VIRick  |  July 3, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    And Push-Back: Arizona A-G Kris Mayes Tells US Supreme Court to "Shove" It

    Per "Arizona Republic" editorial:

    Colorado has a law on the books that says, in simple terms, a business open to the public cannot discriminate against gay people. The radical right-wing majority of the US Supreme Court issued a ruling on 30 June 2023 saying that, yes, it can. The court took the side of a web designer in Colorado who said it was her First Amendment right to refuse to design wedding websites for same-sex couples.

    Arizona has a law much like Colorado’s. Arizona Attorney-General Kris Mayes announced in no uncertain terms that her office is determined to enforce it. The US Supreme Court be damned.

    After the court announced its decision in the Colorado case, Mayes issued a statement that read in part, “Today, a woefully misguided majority of the United States Supreme Court has decided that businesses open to the public may, in certain circumstances, discriminate against LGBTQ Americans." She added, “By issuing this new license to discriminate … the immediate, symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status.” Not in Arizona, according to Mayes.

    She said in her statement, “Despite today’s ruling, Arizona law continues to prohibit discrimination in places of public accommodation, including discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. If any Arizonan believes that they have been the victim of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), national origin, or ancestry in a place of public accommodation, they should file a complaint with my office. I will continue to enforce Arizona’s public accommodation law to its fullest extent.”

  • 2. VIRick  |  July 3, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Lorie Smith's ADF lawyer, Senior Counsel Erin Morrow Hawley, who litigated the case before the Supreme Court, is the wife of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley (R), and needs to be sanctioned by her bar association for her sordid role in this case. Likewise Kristen Waggoner, Smith's immediate ADF counsel.

  • 3. VIRick  |  July 3, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    Paraguay: LGBT Pride March in Asunción

    Las organizaciones SOMOSGAY, Panambí, y la Red GayLatino expresaron su posicionamiento en el marco de la Parada del Orgullo LGBTI 2023, desarrollada ayer, el 1 de julio 2023, en Asunción con una multitudinaria marcha.

    The organizations SOMOSGAY, Panambí, and the GayLatino Network expressed their positions within the framework of the 2023 LGBTI Pride Parade, held yesterday, 1 July 2023, in Asunción with a well-attended march.

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 4, 2023 at 9:44 am

    Georgia: Federal Suit Filed to Block Ban on Gender-Affirming Healthcare

    Four families with transgender children, plus a national organization for such families, have requested an emergency court order to block Georgia’s ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth from going into effect.

    The families, who filed anonymously, and the TransParent organization are represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

    Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed Senate Bill 140 into law in March. It bans surgery and hormone treatment for people under 18 for the purposes of gender transition, while it allows the use of puberty blockers. It was supposed to go into effect from 1 July 2023. Young people who had started hormone therapy before that date were to be allowed to stay on the treatment.

    The emergency order request was filed on 29 June 2023 in hopes of blocking the law, but the court does not appear to have acted. It was filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, naming several state agencies and officials as defendants.

    Their filing says that the ban “violates the fundamental rights of parents to make medical decisions to ensure the health and well-being of their children” and the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws “by denying transgender youth essential, and often lifesaving, medical treatment based on their sex and on their transgender status.”

  • 5. VIRick  |  July 4, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Querétaro: State Congress Bans "Conversion Therapy" (ECOSIG), Jurisdiction #15

    Per Yaaj Mexico:

    Aquí nuestro mapa actualizado con corte al 4 de julio de 2023 tras que Querétaro se convirtiera en el estado no.15 en prohibir la tortura contra las personas LGBTIQ.

    Here is our map fully up-dated to 4 July 2023 after Querétaro became state #15 to ban this torture against LGBTIQ persons.

    The 15 jurisdictions in Mexico to have already banned ECOSIG are: CDMX, Edomex, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Colima, Zacatecas, Yucatán, Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Puebla, Hidalgo, Baja California, Sonora, Nuevo León, and Querétaro. Nayarit is poised to become #16 (of 32 total).

  • 6. VIRick  |  July 5, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    Greece: Re-Elected Prime Minister Plans to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis plans to legalize same-sex marriage, a huge step forward for LGBTQ rights in the region.

    “Same-sex marriage will happen at some point and it’s part of our strategy,” Mitsotakis, a center-right politician, said on 4 July 2023 in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Athens. “Greek society is much more ready and mature.”

    Like the majority of countries in the European Union, Greece currently recognizes same-sex unions in some form but stops shy of supporting full marriage.

    Momentum for change began in Greece in 2021 when Mitsotakis appointed a committee to draft a national strategy for improving LGBTQ rights. He has introduced a number of reforms since then including lifting a ban on homosexual men making blood donations and ending the practice of so-called sex normalizing surgeries on children. Few had expected him to become such a powerful force for change.

    In Greece, same-sex civil partnerships were legally recognized in 2015, and gender identity followed in 2017, but progress on other issues had been piecemeal until Mitsotakis came to power in 2019.

    Whenever Greece finally legalizes same-sex marriage, expect Cyprus to then follow suit..

  • 7. VIRick  |  July 5, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    North Carolina: Governor Vetoes 3 Anti-LGBTQ Bills

    On 5 July 2023, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed three bills that target LGBTQ youth, setting up a likely effort by the Republican-controlled legislature to override him.

    Cooper’s vetoes were expected as he has been a vocal opponent of legislation targeting LGBTQ youth this session, putting him at odds with state Republicans, who have introduced at least 12 anti-LGBTQ bills this legislative session, according to the ACLU. The legislature’s Republican super-majority has the ability to override a potential veto.

    The rejected bills include a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, restrictions on how gender identity can be discussed in schools, and a measure to prohibit transgender athletes from competing on girls’ sports teams.

    HB 808 would prohibit medical professionals from performing surgical gender transition procedures, prescribing puberty-blocking drugs, and providing hormone treatments for those under the age of 18, although there are extremely limited exceptions for certain disorders. If a doctor were to break the law, the bill calls for their medical license to be revoked.

    Cooper also vetoed HB 574, which would ban transgender girls and women from competing on middle school, high school, and college sports teams that align with their gender identity. The bill states that a “student’s sex shall be recognized based solely on the student’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth,” and would require sports teams to be designated as for males, men, or boys; females, women ,or girls; or coed or mixed.

    SB 49, a third bill vetoed by Cooper, requires that parents be notified “prior to any changes in the name or pronoun used for a student in school records or by school personnel,” as well as bans instruction on “gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality” in kindergarten through fourth

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  July 6, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Bisexuality Has Nearly Quadrupled in the U.S.

    A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research shows that bisexuality — being attracted to or engaging in sexual behavior with people of both sexes — has tripled in the U.S. over the past three decades.

    Between 1989 and 1994, 3.1% of the 6,354 respondents reported having both male and female sex partners since age 18. Between 2012 and 2018, that rate had climbed to 9.3% among the 6,609 survey takers. Moreover, during the pandemic-affected 2021 survey year, 9.6% of respondents reported partners of both sexes as adults.

    Engaging in sexual activities with members of both sexes after age 18 is not necessarily indicative of true bisexuality, however. For example, someone who identifies as gay or lesbian might have had opposite-sex partners in early adulthood before coming out later in life. Thus, the researchers checked to see if there was a corresponding increase in the proportion of Americans who actually identify as bisexual. The GSS began asking respondents about their sexual orientation in 2004. Between then and 2010, 1.2% of those surveyed identified as bisexual. By 2021, the rate had nearly quadrupled, rising to 4.5%.

    The upward trend in bisexuality in America seems set to continue, as over 6% of 18-29 year-olds but fewer than 2% of respondents over age 40 identified as bisexual in the latest data.

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  July 6, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    Gay Ukrainian soldiers believe war with Russia is changing attitudes at home

    The number of openly LGBT soldiers fighting for Ukraine, coupled with a perception of homophobia as a “traditional Russian value”, has led to a greater acceptance of same-sex relationships in Ukrainian society.

    There are no exact figures for how many LGBT soldiers are serving in the Ukrainian armed forces but LGBT Military, an Instagram account that posts pictures of gay and lesbian soldiers, estimates the figure at around 50,000.

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  July 6, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    DeSantis defends anti-LGBTQ video shared by his campaign

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is defending an anti-LGBTQ video his campaign shared online that attacks rival Donald Trump for his past support of gay and transgender people, despite some of his fellow Republicans calling it homophobic.

    The LGBTQ+ rights movement has become a central point in the GOP presidential contest, with DeSantis in particular highlighting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation he’s signed and criticizing President Joe Biden for displaying the Pride flag at the White House.

    Trump has pledged that, if elected to the White House again, he would sign executive orders that cut U.S. tax funding for schools pushing “transgender insanity” and health care providers offering gender-affirming care for minors.

    Trump and DeSantis both frequently attack the participation of transgender women in women’s sports and label gender-affirming care for minors as “mutilation.”

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  July 7, 2023 at 8:20 am

    Imagine being a law professor who is trying to explain this case to attentive students…

  • 12. Randolph_Finder  |  July 7, 2023 at 8:48 am

    Question under discussion at Wikipedia. Did the Nepal Supreme Court Decision take Nepal to Marriage Equality or not?

  • 13. scream4ever  |  July 7, 2023 at 11:00 am

    Yes it does.

  • 14. VIRick  |  July 7, 2023 at 11:19 pm

    Nepal: Registering Marriages of Couples from Sexual and Gender Minority Groups

    Per Vikrant Singh, datelined Kathmandu, Nepal:

    On 28 June 2023, the Supreme Court of Nepal has issued an interim order to the government, instructing it to temporarily allow the registration of same-sex marriages. The court order, issued by Justice Til Prasad Shrestha, requires the government to make the necessary arrangements for registering marriages of couples from sexual and gender minority groups if they wish to do so.

    Once the necessary arrangements for registering marriages of couples from sexual and gender minorities is established, we then need to continue paying attention to note when the first same-sex couples are then able to actually successfully register their marriages with the government. Conceptually, or de jure, since 28 June 2023, same-sex marriage is legal in Nepal, and it will then become de facto once the first couples are finally able to successfully register such.

  • 15. VIRick  |  July 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Nepal: More on the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling

    Per Lima Gay Net:

    Nepal legaliza el matrimonio igualitario por orden de la Corte Suprema. En un fallo del 28 de junio pasado, el juez ordenó al gobierno de Nepal establecer un registro separado de matrimonios para parejas del mismo sexo, con los mismos derechos que las parejas heterosexuales.

    El fallo se dio tras una petición de activistas LGBTQ demandando que se cumpla el fallo de la Corte Suprema dada en 2007, ordenando al gobierno nepalí reconocer el matrimonio igualitario.

    Nepal legalizes marriage equality by order of the Supreme Court. In a 28 June 2023 ruling, the judge ordered the government of Nepal to establish a separate marriage registry for same-sex couples, with the same rights as heterosexual couples.

    The ruling was given following a petition by LGBTQ activists demanding that the 2007 ruling of the Supreme Court ordering the government of Nepal to recognize marriage equality be fulfilled.

  • 16. VIRick  |  July 7, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    Montana: State Sued in Federal Court, Plaintiffs Seek to Block "Drag" Ban

    A transgender woman, two bookstore owners, and an educator who teaches in historical costumes are suing Montana over its law banning drag performers from reading to children. If successful, the suit could cause the law to be blocked from being enforced. The federal lawsuit calls the law “a breathtakingly ambiguous and overbroad bill, motivated by anti-LGBTQ animus,” and alleges that it violates Constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection under the law.

    One of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs is Adria Jawort, a trans woman whose 2 June 2023 library lecture about Two-Spirit culture was canceled over fears that she might be violating the law’s prohibition on any “male or female performer who adopts a flamboyant or parodic” male or feminine persona.

    Another plaintiff is Rachel Corcoran, an educator who dresses up as “literary, historical, or pop culture characters to teach special education students at a Billings high school."

    The lawsuit’s other plaintiffs include businesses, organizations, and community centers that host all-ages drag events, as well as an independent theater that may show PG-13 or R-rated films. Such films could violate the law’s prohibition against “sexually oriented performances” in front of minors.

    Montana’s law is unique compared to other states’ drag bans in that it specifically bans both drag queens and drag kings from reading in front of children. Groups that host such performances can face fines. Organizers of such performances can be sued by the minors who viewed them up to 10 years after the performances (even if the minor’s parents approved of their viewing). Educators who violate the law risk suspension and having their educational credentials revoked.

    Federal judges have blocked drag bans from going into effect in Tennessee and Florida, stating that they violate people’s rights to free speech.

  • 17. VIRick  |  July 7, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Mexico: Sign Seen on Food Vendor Who Is Also Wearing Trans Flag at LGBT Parade

    Per Homosensual, 4 July 2023:

    Esa señora conoce su mercado. Deme dos! (This lady knows her market. Give me two!):

    The clever marketing sign, given that this was at an LGBT parade, a photo of which can be viewed at citation, reads:

    Hetero, el que no me compre.

    Hetero, the one who does not buy from me.

  • 18. VIRick  |  July 8, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Twitter Appears to Have Self-Destructed

    Previously, I had never bothered to set up my own Twitter account. That meant that I could read other people's tweets, but could not directly reply to them. But I could copy-and-paste, and bring their tweets here (or to any other site I chose) where I could then indirectly reply.

    In June 2023, for no apparent reason, my Twitter access began to be blocked. The big Mexico-based Twitter account of Matrimonio Igualitario simply vanished. The Colombia-based Twitter account of Noticias LGBT was (and still is) marked, "restricted." At one point, in Latin America, almost every politician, government agency, and political force had their own Twitter account, all openly listed under their real names. But not any more.

    I recently wasted my own time and effort to set up my own Twitter account, thinking (incorrectly) that that would resolve my access problem. But I first had to set up a separate G-mail account and identity for Twitter use so as to keep it separate from my pre-existing personal business account. So, with this task now completed, I returned to Twitter, only to discover that very few active users still remain.

    I suspect that many people do not want to bother with the entire "verification" process, while others have no desire to pay for a convenience that had previously been offered free-of-charge. To parody the food vendor sign found by Homosensual:

    Hetero, no le compro. (Hetero, I do not buy from him.)

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  July 8, 2023 at 10:46 am

    Wikipedia – LGBT rights in Greece

  • 20. guitaristbl  |  July 8, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    What is that supposed to show?

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  July 8, 2023 at 8:11 pm


  • 22. guitaristbl  |  July 9, 2023 at 4:51 am

    I think I know the context as a citizen better than Wikipedia.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  July 9, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Context is being provided for the readers of your post, many of whom are Americans who may have little or no knowledge of current conditions in Greece.

  • 24. VIRick  |  July 8, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    6th Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Tennessee Preliminary Injunction

    On 8 July 2023, a US appeals court ruled that a Tennessee law prohibiting doctors from providing medical care such as puberty-blockers and gender-affirming surgery for transgender minors can go into effect immediately.

    The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said that advocacy groups that had challenged Tennessee's law could not show they were likely to prevail on their claims that it violated the US Constitution. The panel of three judges voted 2-1 to reverse a lower court's decision that had blocked Tennessee from enforcing the law while it is being challenged.

    It should be noted that the majority opinion here was written by Jeffrey Sutton, the same nut-job appeals court judge who ruled against marriage equality, thus forcing the circuit split on that matter. Here is the kind of ridiculous language he uses: "Life-tenured federal judges should be wary of removing a vexing and novel topic of medical debate from the ebbs and flows of democracy by construing a largely unamendable federal constitution to occupy the field," Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the appeals court.

    In her dissent, Judge Helen White wrote that she believes Tennessee's law "is likely unconstitutional" as a type of sex discrimination.

    Federal judges in five other states have blocked five laws similar to Tennessee's from taking effect, as had the district court judge in Tennessee. Those judges found the laws violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  July 8, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    Georgia: Tblisi Pride cancelled after hundreds of bigots storm past police

    Smoke rose above the site, a field just outside the city, as LGBT rainbow flags were burned and right-wing activists danced to traditional Georgian folk music. Attendees of Tblisi Pride had been told to board buses for their own safety moments before.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  July 9, 2023 at 8:55 am

    In jab at DeSantis, Florida Democrats cap off fundraising dinner with raucous drag show

    The speeches were done, the politicians were off the stage, but the night wasn’t over for Florida Democrats.

    Party Chair Nikki Fried feigned surprise when the lights went out Saturday night. But the show was just getting started.

    For the finale of the Florida Democratic Party’s annual Leadership Blue conference and fundraiser, Fried arranged for an appearance by drag queen Velvet Lenore, who performed several numbers along with her backup dancers.

    The audience, Democratic activists and elected officials from throughout the state, erupted in applause.

    The finale choice was intended as a political and cultural statement, Fried said afterward, and also as a way to keep giving the 700 Democrats at the dinner an energy-filled sendoff after a day of conferences and speeches at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

    Earlier in the evening, between speeches, there was a performance by Black dancers and a performance of salsa dancing.

    Fried was elected Democratic Party chair earlier this year and said she wanted Leadership Blue to be something different from the usual hours of speeches from candidates and elected officials.

    And, Fried said, the entertainment was designed to counter what she said are Republicans attempts to “erase the culture, the history of the state.”…

  • 27. VIRick  |  July 9, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    Tennessee: Trans Persons Can No Longer Change IDs to Reflect Gender Identity

    Transgender people who live in Tennessee can no longer change their identification documents to reflect their gender identity. As of 1 July 2023, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and other official documents issued by the state can only reflect a person’s sex assigned at birth.

    Tennessee has adopted a law that defines a person’s "sex" as that “determined by their anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth.” Accordingly, transgender Tennesseans cannot change the gender on their ID if it differs from their birth certificate.

    For people who have already changed their documents, it is unclear what will happen when they apply for renewal. Opponents of the law have many questions about the new statute, and this is just one of them.

    As a result of the new law, Tennessee may also lose millions of dollars in federal education and health funding. A court challenge is expected to be brought against the new law.

  • 28. ianbirmingham  |  July 9, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    United Methodists lose one-fifth of U.S. churches in schism driven by growing defiance of LGBTQ bans

    More than 6,000 United Methodist congregations — a fifth of the U.S. total — have now received permission to leave the denomination amid a schism over theology and the role of LGBTQ people in the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination.

    United Methodist legislative bodies, known as general conferences, have repeatedly reinforced bans on LGBTQ marriage and ordination, on the strength of coalitions of conservatives in U.S. and overseas churches.

    But amid increased defiance of those bans in many U.S. churches, many conservatives decided to launch the separate Global Methodist Church, saying they believed the sexuality issues reflected deeper theological differences.

    The departures have been particularly large in the South and Midwest, with states such as Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio each losing hundreds of congregations.

    With these departures, progressives are expected to propose changing church law at the next General Conference in 2024 to allow for same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ people.

  • 29. VIRick  |  July 11, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    Japan: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Trans Worker in Bathroom Use Case

    On 11 July 2023, in an historic decision for trans rights, Japan’s Supreme Court has ruled that a government ministry cannot ban a trans employee from using the women’s restroom at work.

    The unanimous ruling came after a 50-something trans woman, who chose to remain anonymous, sued the Economy and Trade Ministry for relegating her to the men’s restroom, or to a women’s bathroom two floors away. The thinking behind allowing her to use a women’s room on a different floor was that she would not run into her co-workers there. The ministry was reportedly trying to prevent her coworkers from feeling embarrassed.

    The court called the restrictions “extremely inappropriate,” as well as an “abuse of power” that was “unjustly neglecting the plaintiff’s inconvenience” while being overly considerate to the other employees (there had reportedly never been a complaint from a co-worker).

    All people should have the right to live their lives in society based on their own sexual identities,” said the anonymous plaintiff after securing her victory. “The significance of that should not be reduced to the usage of toilets or public baths.” According to ABC News, this is the court’s first-ever ruling on working environments for LGBTQ people.

    Right now, trans people in the country cannot legally change their gender without undergoing gender-affirming surgery. According to Equaldex, there are no anti-LGBTQ discrimination protections in housing, conversion therapy is not banned, and non-binary genders are not legally recognized. It describes Japanese adoption laws for LGBTQ people as “ambiguous.”

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  July 11, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    Senators call for Supreme Court to follow ethics code like other branches of government

    The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responding to Associated Press investigative stories on the Supreme Court, said Tuesday it was time for the justices to bring their conduct in line with the ethical standards of other branches of government.

    “If they just establish the basic standards of every other branch of government, it would give us much more confidence in their integrity,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said.

    Durbin and other lawmakers in Washington have announced a vote next week on legislation that would require the court to adopt an ethics code.

  • 31. VIRick  |  July 12, 2023 at 10:53 am

    Wisconsin: Judge Rules in Favor of Trans 6th-Grader on Bathroom Use

    In a win for the trans community, on 11 July 2023, a federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled in favor of an 11-year-old trans girl’s right to use the girls’ restroom at school.

    US District Judge Lynn Adelman issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against an anti-trans policy of the Mukwonago Area School District, located in the conservative Milwaukee suburb of Mukwonago, one that required students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms based on their sex assigned at birth.

    The 11-year-old girl and her mother sued after the school began to heavily monitor the incoming sixth graders’ bathroom usage while she took summer school classes at Mukwonago High School.

    According to the judge’s ruling, the plaintiff had used the girls’ bathroom without incident since third grade when she moved to the district. “Plaintiff will suffer significant irreparable harm without a temporary restraining order. Defendants have begun enforcing the policy against plaintiff and are currently causing her to experience emotional and mental harms.” Adelman further said that the plaintiffs would likely win at trial.

  • 32. VIRick  |  July 12, 2023 at 11:41 am

    Chile: Government to Strengthen LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Law

    On 11 July 2023, President Gabriel Boric’s administration announced that it intends to strengthen Chile’s anti-discrimination law that first took effect in 2012. Law 20,609 (Ley Zamudio), named after Daniel Zamudio, a gay man who was murdered in Santiago earlier that same year, marked an important initial milestone in the fight against discrimination.

    In addition, Boric’s government currently intends to also create an equality and non-discrimination council, one which will provide an institutional framework to fight for LGBTQ and intersex people and other vulnerable groups.

    According to the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), the Latin American country’s main queer organization, hate crimes in Chile have doubled over the last year. Last month’s Pride March, organized by Movilh, drew more than 180,000 people demanding that Chilean authorities improve the Zamudio Law to prevent violence against LGBTQ and intersex people.

    This new institutional framework and the proposed reforms to the Zamudio Law depend upon Congress. The Boric government has therefore made them a legislative priority.

  • 33. ianbirmingham  |  July 13, 2023 at 4:47 am

    Scientists discover gay behaviors are not only common in male monkeys, but may give them an evolutionary edge

    * Scientists found that male rhesus monkeys have sex more frequently with other males than females.

    * This behavior could provide the monkeys with an evolutionary edge over heterosexual counterparts.

    * Bisexual behaviors were found to be partially heritable between father-son pairs.

  • 34. VIRick  |  July 13, 2023 at 8:17 am

    Argentina: Non-Resident Foreigners Can Marry in Misiones

    Argentina: Extranjeros No Residentes Podrán Contraer Matrimonio en Misiones

    Del julio 2023, el gobierno de Misiones autorizó a la Dirección General del Registro Provincial de las Personas a admitir en el marco de las solicitudes de matrimonio “sin ningún tipo de discriminación o diferencia respecto de cualquier solicitante” las peticiones de extranjeros no residentes.

    El matrimonio igualitario también está incluido en esta reglamentación y esto puede ser opción para muchas parejas que en su país de origen no pueden celebrar una unión civil justamente porque el matrimonio igualitario no está permitido (allá).

    From July 2023, the government of Misiones authorized the General Directorate of the Provincial Registry of Persons to admit the requests within the framework of marriage "without discrimination or difference with respect to any applicant" the petitions from non-resident foreigners.

    Marriage equality is also included in this regulation, an option for many couples who cannot celebrate a civil union in their country of origin precisely because equal marriage is not allowed (there).

    Misiones Province occupies the extreme northeast corner of Argentina, squeezed between Brasil and Paraguay. The sole road bridge between Argentina and Paraguay links its provincial capital with Encarnacion, the second-largest city in Paraguay.

    Apparently, in the very recent past, a number of northern border provinces in Argentina, particularly in the Chaco, have not been marrying non-resident foreigners, citing "lack of procedural directives." Of all of them, Misiones is the most exposed, and certainly the easiest-to-reach from Paraguay. After procrastinating for 13 years, Misiones is finally ready to marry non-resident foreigners per "los Artículos 20° y 24° de la Ley N° 25.871.”

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  July 13, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Oregon: Baker City mayor defends use of meme comparing Pride to Nazism

    Diaz apologized “for any misunderstanding” about racism and stated that he is not a racist nor a Nazi. But he otherwise defended the sentiment behind the meme.

    “The post in question was meant to illustrate how the DEI or ‘woke’ ideology is being propagandized and militantly forced on American society and culture using the same psychological tactics used by the Nazi party in the 1930s – 1940s,” he wrote. “It was meant to demonstrate how this movement, under the guise of inclusion and affirmation, is attacking the very foundation of America’s Judeo-Christian values, a movement that some of our citizens have been thoroughly indoctrinated into.”

    His post came only a few days before Baker City’s third annual Pride Walk, an event meant to celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community.

  • 36. ianbirmingham  |  July 13, 2023 at 11:32 am

    Oregon: Newport mayor apologizes for posting anti-LGBTQ, misogynist, vulgar and violent memes

    “I apologize to the public for this,” Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer said.

    Since 2016, Dean Sawyer has posted racist memes mocking Mexicans and endorsing former President Donald Trump’s hardline policies on immigration. One post in April made fun of trans swimmer Lia Thomas. Several mocked Bud Light, which has drawn the ire of Republicans for the company’s business relationship with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Both Thomas and Mulvaney have been targets of right wing smear campaigns and online harassment.

    In addition to making fun of trans athletes, Sawyer has targeted trans sex workers, Spanish speakers and victims of sexual assault. He’s also joked about committing violence against women.

    Speaking at the Nov. 21 City Council meeting the day after 5 people were killed and 25 injured in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub, Sawyer said “we abhor violence at any level against any person” and that he hoped “this scourge will stop in our country.”

    Two months later, he posted a meme making light of sexual assault and another mocking Mexicans.

    In a statement posted on Facebook Friday morning after this story first published, Newport Oregon Pride said it is “appalled and disgusted by the hateful words and actions of our mayor.”

    “This disturbing behavior normalizes hatred and incites violence against the most marginalized and vulnerable members of our society and should not be tolerated,” the group wrote.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  July 13, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Oregon: Two mayors in Oregon resign within days of one another after they both posted offensive memes on their social media accounts

    This is something that I take full responsibility for,' Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer reportedly wrote in a resignation letter addressed to the city manager and city council president.

    Matt Diaz, the mayor of Baker City, says he will be moving to a different city to take a different, higher-paying job.

  • 38. VIRick  |  July 13, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Texas: Families/Medical Providers Sue State over Gender-Affirming Healthcare Ban

    On 12 July 2023, families and healthcare providers in Texas sued the state and other state defendants to block Senate Bill 14 before the legislation goes into effect on 1 September 2023.

    According to the suit, the law, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in June, would “ban necessary and life-saving medical care for Texas’s transgender youth, cut off access to care for adolescent minors already receiving treatment, and require the state to revoke medical licenses of physicians providing the best standard of care to their trans patients.”

    The plaintiffs in the case are represented by Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Texas, the ACLU, Transgender Law Center, and the law firms Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, LLP, according to a press release.

    The suit was filed in Travis County District Court and seeks a temporary injunction against the law. Five families, three medical professionals, and two LGBTQ rights groups, PFLAG and GLMA, have brought the legal challenge. The executive director of the medical professional group GLMA, Alex Sheldon, said, “In joining this filing, GLMA is issuing a resounding rejection of SB 14, recognizing it as an affront to healthcare ethics and the medical evidence that should govern healthcare policies.”

    The families involved are suing pseudonymously over fears that they and their children, who are transgender, would be targeted. Those children range in age from nine to 16.

  • 39. VIRick  |  July 13, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    California: State Senate Approves Repeal of Proposition 8

    A proposed amendment to remove language eliminating same-sex marriage rights from California’s state constitution will now appear on the November 2024 ballot, after the measure cleared its final legislative hurdle on 13 July 2023 with bipartisan support.

    The amendment, known as ACA 5, would officially strike a provision from the state’s constitution that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” That language was added to the constitution under Proposition 8, the controversial 2008 ballot proposition intended to ban same-sex marriage in California.

    The proposed amendment passed the state Senate in a 31-0 vote, with nine Republicans not voting. It overwhelmingly passed the state Assembly in June.

  • 40. ianbirmingham  |  July 13, 2023 at 8:19 pm

    Russian lawmakers move to further restrict transgender rights

    Russian lawmakers on Thursday approved a toughened version of a bill that outlaws gender transitioning procedures, with added clauses that annul marriages in which one person has “changed gender” and bar transgender people from becoming foster or adoptive parents.

    The bill received swift, unanimous approval of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in its key second reading, and lawmakers scheduled the third and final reading for Friday.

    The bill bans any “medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person,” as well as changing one’s gender in official documents and public records.

    New clauses added to the bill also amend Russia’s Family Code by listing gender change as a reason to annul a marriage and adding those “who had changed gender” to a list of people who can’t become foster or adoptive parents.

    Lawmakers portray the measure as protecting Russia from “the Western anti-family ideology,” with some describing gender transitioning as “pure satanism.”

    Lyubov Vinogradova, executive director of Russia’s Independent Psychiatric Association, called the bill “misanthropic” in an interview with The Associated Press. She rejected the state narrative that gender transitioning is something imposed on Russia by the West and noted that studies of transgender issues were being conducted since the 1960s in the Soviet Union, “and it was normal, no one was concerned by it, but now, it turns out, goes against our traditional values.”

    An online petition against the bill by Yana Kirey-Sitnikova, a transgender studies researcher, also mentions that gender-affirming care was available in the Soviet Union since the late 1960s and that transgender people were able to change gender markers in official documents as early as the 1920s.

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  July 13, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    Russia’s first openly transgender politician can't even register as a candidate

    Yulia Alyoshina had planned to represent the opposition Civil Initiative party at the polls in southern Siberia’s Altai region in September, when it will elect a new governor.

    Alyoshina had intended to fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the course of her campaign and opposed a new bill outlawing gender-affirming procedures in Russia. The legislation was initially approved by Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on June 14.

    But on Monday, Alyoshina said she had been unable to gather the minimum number of signatures — 502 — needed from members of local municipal councils and village heads to take part.

    Alyoshina wrote in a Telegram post Monday that 19 council members “were unequivocally ready to put their signatures in support of my nomination,” while others initially supported her but later retracted their backing, citing the bill banning gender transitioning currently under consideration in the Duma.

    Introduced in 2012, Russia’s “municipal filter” obliges candidates running for local office to collect signatures of support from members of municipal councils.

    The requirement has been criticized by civil rights groups as a means for state officials to bar opposition candidates.

  • 42. ianbirmingham  |  July 14, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Poll: 8% of Americans think LGBTQ+ people would be better off during Ron DeSantis presidency

    While 12% of men believe DeSantis would benefit LGBTQ+ people as President, only 4% of women feel the same way.

    Meanwhile, 40% of respondents believe LGBTQ+ people would be worse off, with 24% saying things would be no different and 28% saying they aren’t sure.

    Republicans, conservatives and people who voted for Donald Trump in 2020 were less convinced DeSantis would be bad for LGBTQ+ people. The poll found 13% of Republicans and 14% of conservatives and Trump voters said they would be better off, against 17% of Republicans, 16% of conservatives and 15% of Trump voters who said the opposite.

    The polling was in the field during the tail end of a news cycle in which DeSantis’ campaign circulated a “Pride Month” video that painted Trump as too accommodating to LGBTQ+ people.

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  July 14, 2023 at 10:51 am

    All-Muslim Michigan council ousts 2 commissioners who broke new rule banning flying of Pride flags on city property

    Hamtramck, population 27,000, is an enclave surrounded by Detroit. More than 40 percent of residents were born in other countries, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and a significant share are of Yemeni or Bangladeshi descent.

    On Tuesday, the council unanimously approved removing Russ Gordon and Cathy Stackpoole from the Hamtramck Human Rights Commission for flying the rainbow flag over a public sidewalk, with a member saying they 'defied the rule of law.'

    It became the first city in America to have a majority Muslim population in 2015 and in January 2022, became the first to have an all-Muslim city council and mayor in Amer Ghalib.

  • 44. VIRick  |  July 14, 2023 at 11:58 am

    As a Justice of the Peace, and thus, as a county functionary of McLennan County TX, Dianne Hensley's "complaint" does not follow behind the weak non-argument of Lorie Smith's "creative private business" nonsense, but rather, would follow the broader precedent already determined and reinforced by the seemingly endless number of cases against the Rowan County KY clerk, Kim Davis, the hapless defendant who lost her state job, as well as every appeal in every lawsuit brought against her..

  • 45. ianbirmingham  |  July 14, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    LGBTQ+ Rights in the Americas: Progress and Remaining Challenges

    In this episode of the Wilson Center’s Americas 360 podcast, our experts discuss LGBTQ+ rights across the Western Hemisphere and whether expanding legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals are assuring greater safety and equality.

  • 46. VIRick  |  July 14, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    Hungary: Bookstore to Fight Fine for LGBT-Themed Book, "Heartstopper"

    Hungary’s second-largest bookstore, Lira, said on 14 July 2023, that it plans to take legal action after it received a hefty government fine for the sale of an LGBT-themed British web-comic and graphic novel aimed at teenagers without closed wrapping.

    On 12 July 2023, a Budapest government office imposed a fine of 12 million forints ($36,000) on Lira, saying it broke the law by selling British author Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper,” among other books for minors, without wrapping them in plastic foil.

    The popular “Heartstopper” series, in which two gay teens fall in love, has also been adapted by Netflix as a romantic comedy-drama. Krisztian Nyary, Lira’s creative director and a well-known author himself, told Reuters the fine was disproportionate, the law vaguely worded, and that the bookstore would respond legally.

  • 47. VIRick  |  July 14, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    Kentucky: Judge Lifts Temporary Injunction against Gender-Affirming Healthcare Ban

    On 14 July 2023, Kentucky's ban on gender-affirming care for young transgender people was restored when a federal judge lifted an injunction he had issued last month that had temporarily blocked the restrictions. The latest ruling by US District Judge David Hale means that the Kentucky prohibition goes into effect, preventing transgender minors from accessing puberty blockers and hormone therapy.

    Kentucky Attorney-General Daniel Cameron (R), who had asked that the injunction be lifted, applauded the ruling, while transgender rights advocates denounced it.

    "What the courts are allowing to happen to LGBTQ people right now is an American tragedy, one that will besmirch the legacy of every judge who has opened the door to LGBTQ discrimination,” said Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, a Kentucky-based LGBTQ advocacy group.

    Hale’s reversal of his own order came nearly a week after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned another temporary injunction halting a similar law in Tennessee.

    Corey Shapiro, legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky, said that the latest ruling “is not the final word” on the matter. The group called it a temporary setback, and Shapiro expressed confidence in achieving a "positive result” before another federal court.

  • 48. VIRick  |  July 15, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Argentina: 13th Anniversary of the Marriage Equality Law of Argentina

    Per El Vahído:

    Celebramos 13 años de la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario. Un 15 de julio de 2010, a las 4:05 de la madrugada, se aprobaba en el Senado de la Nación la Ley 26.618, la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario.

    We are celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Marriage Equality Law. On 15 July 2010, at 4:05 AM, the National Senate approved Law 26.618, the Marriage Equality Law.

    Per Agencia Presentes:

    There are 72 senators in the National Senate of Argentina. A positive vote from a majority of those present and voting is needed to secure passage of any bill. On this, the vote was:

    33 – Afirmativo
    27 – Negativo
    03 – Abstenciones
    09 – Ausencias

    So, of the 72 senators, 60 were present and voting. Thus, of that, a majority was 31. They secured 33 positive votes for Law 26-618, a vote that was not at all clear beforehand. Had all members been present and voting, 37 positive votes would have been needed.

    Per CHA Argentina:

    The marriage equality law, having already passed the House of Deputies in May 2009, passed the National Senate on 15 July 2010. It was signed into law by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on 21 July 2010, and then took effect throughout Argentina from 30 July 2010.

  • 49. VIRick  |  July 15, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    Paraguay: 13th Anniversary of 1st Paraguayan Same-Sex Marriage (in Argentina)

    Per Pedro Torres Guerrero:

    Mi vieja, paraguaya, y del interior profundo, me dijo, "me fuí a acompañar a estos chicos," y como cerraba muchas veces sus frases, le metio un pulgar arriba. Después, enmarcó la foto. Que genia mi vieja.

    My grandmother, Paraguayan, and from the deep interior, told me, "I went to accompany these young men," and like many times as she ended her sentences, she gave it a thumbs up. Then she framed the photo. What a genius my grandmother.

    And as noted at the bottom of the accompanying photo of the grandmother's framed photo originally taken at the grandson's marriage ceremony, said message was re-tweeted at 2:42 PM, on 15 July 2023, from Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (CABA), Argentina.

  • 50. ianbirmingham  |  July 15, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Florida Trumpanzee, found guilty of 7 felonies, will now be caged for 6 years

    Audrey Ann Southard-Rumsey, 54, of Spring Hill, Florida, was sentenced in District of Columbia federal court, according to court records. She was found guilty in January of seven felony charges, including three counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, three counts of civil disorder and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

    According to the criminal complaint, Southard-Rumsey amplified calls for revolution on social media and worked with others on a declaration calling for the abolition of the Democratic Party and the institution of a new government. On the day of the Capitol attack, Southard-Rumsey uploaded a photograph of herself at the east plaza to Facebook and then broadcasted a live video of herself, the complaint states.

    Southard-Rumsey was part of a large group that broke through police barricades, prosecutors said. At one point, she grabbed an officer's riot shield and then later pushed an officer with a flagpole, causing him to fall and hit his head, officials said. She also joined a group that pushed officers down some stairs, authorities said.

  • 51. VIRick  |  July 18, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Perú: New Civil Union Bill for Same-Sex Couples Introduced to Congress

    Per César Ponce:

    La congresista Martha Moyano ha presentado hoy, el 17 de julio 2023, un nuevo Proyecto de Ley que busca regular la Unión Civil entre parejas del mismo sexo. Es el #5584.

    Today, 17 July 2023, Congresswoman Martha Moyano presented a new bill that seeks to regulate the Civil Union between same-sex couples. It is Bill #5584.

    The full Bill can be found here:

  • 52. bayareajohn  |  July 18, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    "Regulate" can mean many things, good and bad. What does it mean here? I don't read the language on the link.

  • 53. VIRick  |  July 18, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    The verb, "regular," as in regularize /normalize /recognize /legalize.

    Right now, in Perú, LGBT couples have nothing in the way of legal rights or legal recognition, so if the government were to finally regulate Civil Unions for same-sex couples, said couples would at least have that, as a kind of half-measure. The verb, "regular" in Spanish does not carry a negative connotation.

    Panamá: Similar Half-Measure Proposed; Civil Unions for Same-Sex Couples

    In Panamá, a leading candidate for President in the next (2024) election, Rómulo Roux, is putting forth the very similar position, including some double-talk (but again, for Panamá, this would be an improvement over the current situation):

    "Pero, no creo en el matrimonio igualitario. (Sin embargo,) creo que tenemos que darle la oportunidad de una unión civil a las personas del mismo sexo que desean tener los mismos derechos de las personas que han contraído matrimonio," explicó Roux.

    "But, I do not believe in marriage equality. (However,) I think that we have to give the opportunity of a civil union to same-sex couples who desire to have the same rights as persons who have contracted marriage," explained Roux.

  • 54. VIRick  |  July 18, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    California: 3 More States Added to Employee Travel Ban Due to LGBT Discrimination

    In a remarkable milestone, California will restrict state-funded travel to three more US states that have recently passed anti-LGBTQ legislation, bringing the total number subject to the ban to 26, or more than half of all US states.

    On 14 July 2023, California Attorney-General Rob Bonta barred state-funded travel to Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming, in accordance with California Assembly Bill 1887, which requires the AG to restrict state-funded travel to states supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender Americans.

    For the Missouri ban, Bonta called out SB 39, signed into law in June by Republican Gov. Michael Parson. The law prohibits public school districts, including charter schools and public and private colleges and universities, from allowing trans girls to compete in any athletic competition consistent with their gender identity. The travel ban takes effect with the new law in August.

    In Nebraska, Bonta cited LB 574, the so-called “Let Them Grow Act,” signed in May by Republican Gov. Jim Pillen. That legislation denies gender-affirming care for trans people 19 years old or younger. The ban takes effect in November when the new law takes effect

    In Wyoming, Bonta referenced SF 133, which took effect in March without the governor’s signature and bans public K-12 schools — as well as private schools competing against public schools — from allowing female trans students to participate in female sports teams, and features a backdoor “activity eligibility commission” in the event the law is struck down by the courts. The travel ban takes effect immediately.

  • 55. ianbirmingham  |  July 18, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    Orange Trumpanzee Gets 'Target Letter', Must Appear Before Grand Jury

    Trump says he learned Sunday that he may be charged with a federal crime by a grand jury investigating the siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

    The former president says the target letter means he is likely to be indicted.

  • 56. ianbirmingham  |  July 19, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    UK's Sunak apologises to LGBT military veterans over ban

    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologised on Wednesday to LGBT military veterans who endured sexual abuse, violence, bullying and harassment while serving in the armed forces before a ban on homosexuality was lifted in 2000.

    Britain lifted the ban only after the European Court of Human Rights rejected an argument that it was needed to protect morale and fighting power amongst its troops, saying the policy had violated human rights.

    Sunak told a full House of Commons chamber on Wednesday that the ban had been an "appalling failure of the British state".

    "As today’s report makes clear, in that period many endured the most horrific sexual abuse and violence, homophobic bullying and harassment while bravely serving this country," he said.

    "On behalf of the British state, I apologise."

    British Defence Minister Ben Wallace said the review had shone a light on "a shameful and unacceptable historical chapter in our Armed Forces history."

    In a statement to parliament, Wallace said the review had made 49 recommendations for the government, including enhanced healthcare provisions for LGBT veterans and a financial award.

    The government accepted the vast majority of those recommendations in principle and would respond in full after parliament's summer break, he said.

    Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967 in England and Wales, and throughout the entire United Kingdom in the early 1980s.

  • 57. ianbirmingham  |  July 20, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    Senate Judiciary Committee OKs SCOTUS Ethics, Recusal & Transparency Act

    The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11 to 10 to approve the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal and Transparency Act, which would require justices to adopt a code of conduct and create a transparent process for members of the public to submit ethics complaints against members of the court.

    Every Democratic member of the committee voted for the reforms while every Republican voted no.

    The bill would also require the Supreme Court to adopt disclosure rules for gifts, travel and income received by justices and law clerks that are as rigorous as Senate and House disclosure rules.

    It would also establish a panel of chief judges from the lower courts to investigate and make recommendations in response to complaints and would require greater disclosure of the funding behind amicus curiae briefs to the court.

  • 58. VIRick  |  July 20, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Louisiana: Legislature Over-Rides Veto of Ban on Gender-Affirming Healthcare

    On 18 July 2023, Republicans in Louisiana’s legislature over-rode Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’s veto of a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors, but failed to muster enough votes to veto two other anti-LGBTQ bills. On that date, the legislature had convened for a rare one-day veto session.

    The new law, HB 648, bans all gender-affirming healthcare for minors in the state, and revokes the licenses and certificates of any healthcare professional who were to violate the ban for a minimum of two years. Said law will take effect from 1 January 2024.

    The governor's veto was sustained on two other anti-LGBT school-related measures, HB 466 and HB 81.

  • 59. VIRick  |  July 20, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    Malawi Constitutional Court Hearing LGBT, Intersex Rights Cases

    Malawi’s LGBTQ and intersex community is awaiting the outcome of two cases currently before the Constitutional Court that could see the legalization of same-sex sexual relations in the country.

    The Constitutional Court of Malawi is currently considering two cases that Wim Akster, a Dutch national, and Jana Gonani, a local transgender woman from Mangochi, brought in order to acknowledge the rights of the LGBTQ and intersex community.

    On 17 July 2023, the Constitutional Court began to hear arguments presented by the duo’s lawyers, as well as by state prosecutors. The cases have been adjourned to 28 August.

  • 60. ianbirmingham  |  July 21, 2023 at 9:13 am

    Orange Trumpanzee's classified documents trial date is set at May 20, 2024

    Instead of flinging feces, the Trumpanzee continued its chronic oral diarrhea.

  • 61. VIRick  |  July 21, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Perú: Some Reaction to Latest Court Ruling in Favor of Marriage Equality

    A number of commentators are already proclaiming that this particular court ruling of 18 July 2023 (published on 21 July 2023) has ushered in marriage equality in Perú. That point would be true if RENIEC complied with the ruling and did as ordered. However, the instant decision could be appealed to a higher court, and if other recent court decisions on this subject in Perú are any guide, RENIEC will likely appeal.

    However, this present ruling is by far the strongest court ruling in favor of marriage equality to date. It re-affirmed that the current Peruvian Constitution of 1993 does not define marriage in gendered terms. It rendered Article 234 of the Civil Code of Perú inoperable, thus destroying RENIEC's entire defense. Of equal importance, it declared and re-affirmed that the marriage equality ruling of the CIDH, OC-24/17, is binding upon Perú, and then went into extended detail to explain why this is so. Indirectly, the ruling also determined that the marriage law of Argentina is what ought to already be in place in Perú,– and thus, in effect, ordered it to be so,– a major gesture that can be considered rather remarkable. In addition, by doing so, it further established a precedent for same-sex nationals of other countries like Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Suriname who have also married in Argentina to sue on the same grounds, citing this court ruling from Perú in their own legal arguments. (Directly, the same-sex couple from Suriname who married in Argentina and who were subsequently denied recognition need to re-litigate their case in light of the instant ruling from Perú.)

    As a side issue, this current ruling also rendered the recently introduced half-measure Civil Unions bills pending in the Peruvian Congress to be worthless backward steps.

  • 62. VIRick  |  July 22, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Idaho Families Seek Preliminary Injunction to Block Ban on Gender-Affirming Healthcare

    Idaho families with transgender children are seeking to stop the state’s ban on gender-affirming healthcare for trans minors, a ban that threatens healthcare providers with felony charges and prison, from going into effect.

    The families had already sued to challenge the ban, per "Poe v. Labrador," filed on 1 June 2023, but now, on 21 July 2023, they filed a motion asking the same federal District Court in Idaho to issue a preliminary injunction to keep the ban from going into effect while the case is heard. The law is set to become effective from 1 January 2024.

  • 63. VIRick  |  July 23, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Russia: Due to New Anti-Transgender Law, First Same-Sex Marriage Annulled

    La Justicia rusa anuló el primer matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo, después de que se prohibiera por ley el cambio de género tanto en el quirófano como en los documentos de identidad, lo que ha generado críticas por parte de la comunidad transexual.

    El tribunal de la ciudad de Irkutsk, Siberia, tomó esta decisión en respuesta a una denuncia presentada por la Fiscalía a petición del registro civil. Esta medida crea un precedente significativo en la Federación Rusa,

    El cambio de sexo en documentos oficiales estaba permitido en Rusia desde 1997 sin necesidad de someterse a una operación. Sin embargo, con esta nueva ley, los transexuales enfrentan mayores restricciones y consecuencias legales, lo que ha llevado a algunos a considerar el exilio como única opción viable.

    El número de solicitudes para el cambio de sexo en 2022 se estimó en 996 según el viceministro de Sanidad ruso, Oleg Salagái.

    The Russian Justice system annulled the first same-sex marriage, after change of gender was prohibited by law, both in the operating room and on identity documents, a decision that has generated criticism from the transsexual community.

    A court in the city of Irkutsk, Siberia, made this decision in response to a complaint filed by the Prosecutor's Office at the request of the civil registry. This measure creates a significant precedent in the Russian Federation.

    The change of sex on official documents was allowed in Russia since 1997 without the need to undergo an operation. However, with this new law, transsexuals face greater restrictions and legal consequences, which has led some to consider exile as the only viable option.

  • 64. ianbirmingham  |  July 24, 2023 at 3:20 am

    Oppose Putin here:

  • 65. VIRick  |  July 24, 2023 at 7:04 pm

    Bolivia: "Uniones Libres" for Same-Sex or Opposite Sex Couples Now Identical

    Las parejas homosexuales podrán legalizar su "unión libre" en las mismas condiciones que las heterosexuales, gracias a la modificación del reglamento que rige en ese tipo de vínculos en Bolivia, informó este 21 de julio 2023 el Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE).

    El cambio fundamental está en la redacción anteriormente enfocada a "la unión de parejas de diferente sexo." Por lo que ahora se incorporó una "más genérica," explicó el Director Nacional del Servicio de Registro Cívico (Serecí), Javier Hinojosa.

    Esos cambios ahora se integran al ordenamiento jurídico "para permitir el registro de uniones de las personas del mismo sexo" con los mismos "requisitos y plazos" que las parejas heterosexuales, apuntó el director nacional del Serecí.

    Same-sex couples will be able to legalize their "free union" under the same conditions as heterosexuals, thanks to the modification of the regulation that governs this type of relationship in Bolivia, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) reported on 21 July 2023.

    The fundamental change is in the wording that previously focused on "the union of opposite sex couples." For this reason, a "more generic" one has now been incorporated, explained the National Director of the Civic Registry Service (Serecí), Javier Hinojosa.

    These changes are now integrated into the legal system "to allow the registration of same-sex unions" with the same "requirements and deadlines" as heterosexual couples, said the national director of Serecí.

  • 66. ianbirmingham  |  July 25, 2023 at 6:55 am

    Dems see a surprising new path to retaking the House — through the Deep South

    After years of Republicans shutting them out of the congressional mapmaking process in nearly every Southern state, Democrats have turned to the courts to claw back what they saw as nefarious GOP gerrymandering. The party is newly invigorated about its chance to pick up a seat each in Alabama, Louisiana and maybe even Georgia.

    It’s unlikely that major change will kick in before next November. But there’s a real chance that the Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling last month, which declined to whittle down the Voting Rights Act, could reverberate throughout the deep South in the next few election cycles.

    Despite a redistricting brawl already underway in Alabama, Democrats think they have a real chance to grow their numbers. Other court battles in Texas, Florida and South Carolina could yield more gains.

    Marina Jenkins, the head of Democrats’ redistricting arm, said she thought Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia’s litigation could be resolved in time for next year, but that Texas’ timeline was “sort of an unknown” while they waited on a trial date.

  • 67. VIRick  |  July 25, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Virginia: Arlington Will Not Comply with New State Transgender School Guidelines

    Arlington County Public Schools will not comply with updated guidelines for transgender and non-binary students that Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) unveiled last week, according to a statement that Supt. Francisco Durán issued.

    The new set of Virginia Department of Education guidelines would force trans students to use the bathroom of their sex assigned at birth, mandate that teachers misgender trans students unless they have parental permission to use the student’s chosen name and pronouns, direct schools not to conceal information about a student’s gender from parents, ban trans students from team sports, and force counselors to obtain parental consent before speaking with a student about gender identity.

    “I oppose any policy that infringes upon the rights of our students and threatens the safety and well-being of our LGBTQIA students,” Durán wrote. “APS will continue to uphold our core mission and follow our policies to ensure that every child receives equal educational access and opportunities."

  • 68. VIRick  |  July 25, 2023 at 8:39 pm

    USA: House Democrats Introduce Gender-Neutral Laws Bill

    On 25 July 2023, three Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation aimed at ushering in gender blindness in US laws. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA), and Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), announced the Equality in Our Laws Act. The bill would enshrine gender equality in the US legal code by replacing masculine generics with gender-neutral language.

    For example, rather than using “he,” the law would use “the Secretary” when referring to the head of a federal agency, or rather than “fireman,” laws should reference “firefighter,” the statement announcing the bill read.

    As a result of these changes, the US Code would be more inclusive of LGBTQ people, particularly those who are gender non-conforming, non-binary, and intersex, according to the announcement. Several states, including Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin, have already succeeded with similar gender-neutral efforts.

    In terms of federal law, the USA is way behind most other countries with marriage equality in this regard. As an example, in the recent snail-paced race between Switzerland and Chile, both countries took an excessive amount of time prior to passing their marriage equality legislation to sift through their codified laws on marriage and the family, line-by-line, to change the old gendered masculine-generic wording into a fresh gender-neutral format. For example, a man no longer has a wife, nor does a woman have a husband. Instead, people in both countries now have spouses.

    With this newly-introduced bill in the US Congress, the USA is only initiating this process, one that took both Switzerland and Chile several years of intense research to accomplish.

  • 69. VIRick  |  July 26, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    Michigan Bans "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    Michigan has become the 22nd state to ban the use of "conversion therapy" on minors.

    On 26 July 2023, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed two bills into law — House Bill 4617, defining conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and House Bill 4616, which bars licensed therapists from subjecting minors to the practice and lays out penalties for violation, including discipline by public health regulators. Both laws take effect in 90 days, that is, from 24 October 2023.

    In addition to the 22 states, the District of Columbia and numerous cities and counties bar licensed therapists from subjecting minors to "conversion therapy."

  • 70. Randolph_Finder  |  July 28, 2023 at 11:32 am

    OK, according to Wikipedia, statewide bans either completely or using State/Federal Funds exist in (from West to East).. Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington State, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

    (of those, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are a ban on State/Fed funds only)

  • 71. VIRick  |  July 26, 2023 at 9:03 pm

    Missouri: Families Sue to Block Ban On Gender-Affirming Healthcare

    Families, medical providers, and LGBTQ organizations have filed a lawsuit in order to keep Missouri’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors from going into effect. On 25 July 2023, said suit was filed in Circuit Court in Cole County, which includes the state capital, Jefferson City. The plaintiffs are challenging Senate Bill 49, signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson (R) on 7 June 2023. It is set to become effective from 28 August.

    SB 49 prohibits hormone treatment, puberty blockers, and gender-confirmation surgeries for the purpose of gender transition for people under 18, while allowing them for cisgender minors who have a disorder of gender development or other condition that necessitates their use. Trans minors already on hormones or puberty blockers will be able to stay on them, but they cannot initiate treatment. The law also bans gender-affirming care for adults imprisoned in Missouri and prevents the state’s Medicaid program from covering this care for people of any age.

    The suit was brought by the families of three transgender people, Southampton Community Healthcare and two of its medical providers, and two organizations, PFLAG and GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality. They are represented by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. Gov. Parson is named as defendant. The suit is known as "Noe v. Parson," Noe being one of the anonymous plaintiffs.

    SB 49 violates the Missouri Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law, similar to that provided in the U.S. Constitution, the suit states, and interferes with parents’ right to manage their children’s health care. Because the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in proving these arguments, it continues, the court should issue a preliminary injunction keeping the law from going into effect while the case proceeds. Trans minors in Missouri will suffer irreparable harm if the law is allowed to be enforced, the suit contends.

  • 72. VIRick  |  July 27, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Florida: Suit Amended to Include Challenge to Restrictions to Adult Gender-Affirming Care

    A federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Florida’s ban on gender-affirming healthcare for trans minors has been amended to include a challenge to restrictions on gender-affirming healthcare for adults, as well as a request to block both bans while the suit proceeds.

    A judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida has already issued an injunction preventing the state from enforcing its bans on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for trans youth. But the law, Senate Bill 254, signed by Gov. De Santis in May, is also interfering with trans adults’ gender-affirming healthcare, according to the lawsuit.

    For one thing, it prohibits the administration of gender-affirming treatment by anyone other than a physician, even though nurse practitioners are perfectly capable of providing the care, as they do with other treatments for other conditions, notes the suit, "Doe v.Ladapo." As a result, many transgender adults in Florida have to delay or forgo their care, both because there are too few physicians to provide it and because some Floridians do not live near a physician who does, the suit says.

    The suit, originally brought by several trans minors and their parents, was amended on 21 July 2023 to include 4 adult plaintiffs, Olivia Noel, Kai Pope, Lucien Hamel, and Rebecca Cruz Evia. It further seeks class-wide relief for all trans minors and trans adults affected by the law. On 24 July, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the restrictions affecting adults, which are contained both in SB 254 and in rules issued by Florida’s medical boards. The defendants are Florida Surgeon-General Joseph Ladapo and members of the medical boards.

  • 73. ianbirmingham  |  July 28, 2023 at 8:51 am

    Beloved Florida Manatee Hugh dies after sex injury while riding his brother's penis

    Mote Marine Laboratory has confirmed that their 'beloved' Hugh died after engaging 'in natural, yet increased, mating behavior' with his brother Buffet.

    According to the aquarium such behavior has been 'documented in manatees both in managed care and in the wild.'

    'Hugh and Buffett were both observed initiating and mutually seeking interactions from each other throughout the day and there were no obvious signs of discomfort or distress such as listing, crunching, or active avoidance that would have triggered a need for intervention' they explained.

    A necropsy performed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab found the fatal wound was a '14.5 cm (6") long tear in the ventral (front) wall' of his colon.

    Jenessa Gjeltema, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, said that sex between male manatees, including brothers, is not uncommon.

  • 74. VIRick  |  July 28, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Mexico: Sinaloa Bans "Conversion Therapy" on Minors

    On 27 July 2023, the Sinaloa state congress passed a law banning “conversion therapy” (ECOSIG), making it the 16th jurisdiction in Mexico to do so. The state also expanded its anti-discrimination law so as to cover gender discrimination.

    A bill banning "conversion therapy" in Nayarit state remains pending. A nationwide federal ban on "conversion therapy" is expected to be voted upon this fall.

  • 75. VIRick  |  July 28, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    Montana: Drag Ban Blocked by Temporary Restraining Order

    A federal judge in Montana has temporarily blocked the state law banning drag queen story hours and restricting other drag performances. US District Judge Brian Morris heard the suit against the law on 26 July 2023, and issued a brief order on 28 July granting the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order and barring the state from enforcing it.

    It comes ahead of Montana Pride, which begins on 30 July in Helena, the state capital, and runs through 6 August. The plaintiffs had noted that the Pride celebration would start soon and that the law would interfere with the event.

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