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7/30 open thread


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  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  July 30, 2023 at 11:19 pm

    Leaked gay sex video stars Iranian official in charge of promoting Islamic values

    Iran is an Islamic nation where homosexuality is illegal, carrying a potential death sentence, and LGBT+ people face constant threats of abuse, harassment and violence.

    Reza Tsaghati, the head of culture and Islamic guidance in the northern Gilan province, has reportedly been suspended from his position pending an investigation by the authorities.

    The video has been shared across social media in Iran and has caused fury.

    The Iranian official is the founder of a cultural centre which focuses on piety and the hijab, an Islamic headscarf.

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  July 30, 2023 at 11:19 pm

    Senate OKs defense bill, setting up clash with House over abortion, LGBTQ measures

    House Republicans passed a more partisan defense bill that includes provisions to undo the Pentagon’s abortion travel policy, block funding for surgeries and hormone therapy for transgender troops and limit diversity training and programs. All but four House Democrats opposed the final bill, which in other years has been bipartisan.

    “Nobody on our side seriously believes the Democrat-controlled Senate, Democrat White House is going to accept those” social policy provisions, House Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said in an interview. “We set down a marker that if you, the American people, give us 60 votes in the Senate and the White House, this is what we’ll do. But we all know we only control one chamber.”

  • 3. VIRick  |  July 31, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    Argentina: Child with Two Male Parents Registered, Another New First

    Per Rogelio Marin:

    Inscripción de un niño, hijo de dos varones, el 31 de julio 2023. Por primera vez, se inscribe un niño hijo de dos padres varones, pareja que se casó en el 2011.

    Registration of a child, son of two men, on 31 July 2023. For the first time, a child with two male parents, a couple who married in 2011, is registered.

    This registration (inscripción) pertains to the naming of the child's parents on the birth certificate.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  August 1, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    The first group of 100 American “Obama Leaders” will include LGBTQ+ changemakers

    Macy Ferguson-Smith, a licensed therapist who works with transgender patients, and Luke Rackers, the director of development and communications at the Central Vermont Council on Aging, were among the leaders chosen. These remarkable individuals, selected by President Obama, advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ older adults and their care partners and ensure communities have access to gender-affirming care.

    “I’m inspired by this talented group of young leaders from across the United States who are working on the most pressing issues facing our world,” Obama said. “From an oncology resident championing health equity for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, to passionate union organizers advocating for the labor rights of educators and first responders nationwide, to the first Black woman executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama—their ideas and leadership will help strengthen democracy now and in the future. These leaders give me hope, and they deserve our support.”

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  August 1, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    Orange Trumpanzee indicted again: 4 more federal crimes

    * Conspiracy to Defraud the United States

    * Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding

    * Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding

    * Conspiracy against Rights

    Full indictment at the link below!

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  August 1, 2023 at 5:11 pm

    Wisconsin's high court, which almost overturned Biden's win in the state, flips to liberal control

    Wisconsin Democrats celebrated the beginning of a new era for the state Supreme Court on Tuesday as it flipped from conservative to liberal control for the first time in 15 years.

    Janet Protasiewicz, who made abortion rights a focus of her winning election campaign and called Republican-drawn redistricting maps “rigged,” marked the start of her 10-year term with a swearing-in ceremony in the state Capitol Rotunda attended by an overflow crowd of hundreds, including many Democratic officeholders.

    Protasiewicz's win carries tremendous weight in Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court has been the last word on some of the biggest political and policy battles of the past decade-plus.

    The conservative-controlled court came within one vote of overturning President Joe Biden’s narrow win in the state in 2020, though Biden still would have had enough electoral votes to claim the presidency. More battles over voting rules and elections are expected leading up to 2024, along with challenges to the state’s abortion ban, Republican-drawn political boundary lines and a host of other hot-button issues.

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 1, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    Lithuania: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Per "The Baltic Times" and LGBT Marriage News:

    On 28 July 2023, a Vilnius court rejected a request to oblige the Vilnius City Civil Registry Office to register a same-sex marriage and enter the marriage contract in the Register of Marriage Contracts. The court ruled that the Lithuanian constitution contains wording that limits marriage to heterosexual couples. Additionally, "According to the official constitutional jurisprudence, the constitutional concept of marriage (as opposed to the constitutional concept of family) is not gender-neutral, and marriage is only possible between a man and woman," the court's ruling reads. The decision may be appealed to the Vilnius Regional Court.

    It is the second of three pending court challenges seeking to recognize same-sex partnerships; earlier this year a court rejected a couple’s plea to register a same-sex civil partnership, saying that there is no such law under which they could be registered.

    A third challenge is seeking recognition of foreign same-sex marriages. Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Parliament is still considering a civil union law, and it awaits a final vote, yet to be scheduled. The president has threatened to veto it if it passes.

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  August 2, 2023 at 8:25 am

    Orange Trumpanzee’s newest judge is known as a tough Trumpanzee sentencer

    Judge Tanya Chutkan already dealt the ex-president one of the most significant legal blows of his lifetime, triggering perhaps the greatest deluge of evidence about his bid to subvert the 2020 election — a scheme for which he now stands charged with serious crimes.

    The Obama-appointed jurist ruled in fall 2021 that the House Jan. 6 select committee could access reams of Trump’s White House files — a ruling that was subsequently upheld by an appeals court and left undisturbed by the Supreme Court. That evidence — call logs, memos, internal strategy papers and more from the desks of Trump’s most trusted advisers — became the backbone of the committee’s evidence and shaped much of the public’s understanding of his effort to seize a second term he didn’t win.

    Much of that evidence resurfaced Tuesday in special counsel Jack Smith’s four-count indictment of Trump, which referenced call logs and White House records that were already familiar to Americans who tracked the Jan. 6 committee proceedings. Chutkan was randomly selected Tuesday to preside over Trump’s latest criminal case, his third in the last four months.

    “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President,” Chutkan wrote in her 2-year-old ruling, a rebuke that is sure to echo as she prepares to preside over the newest criminal case against the current GOP frontrunner for the presidential nomination in 2024.

    Chutkan has delivered some of the harshest sentences to Jan. 6 defendants and made her disgust and horror over the attack clear, lamenting the prospect of renewed political violence in 2024 and noting that no one accused of orchestrating the effort to subvert the election had been held accountable.

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  August 2, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    Transgender rights targeted in executive order signed by Oklahoma governor

    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday directed state agencies to use narrow definitions of “female” and “male,” in the latest attack on transgender rights in a state that already has laws targeting bathroom use, health care and sports teams for transgender people.

    Stitt signed the executive order flanked by women from the anti-trans group Independent Women’s Voice, including Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer known for criticizing an NCAA decision allowing transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete against her in a women’s championship race.

    “Today we’re taking a stand against this out-of-control gender ideology that is eroding the very foundation of our society,” Stitt said.

    In addition to requiring state agencies and boards to define the words “female” and “male” to correspond with the person’s sex assigned at birth, the executive order also includes definitions for the words “man,” “boy,” “woman,” “girl,” “father” and “mother.” The order specifically defines a female as a “person whose biological reproductive system is designed to produce ova” and a male as a “person whose biological reproductive system is designed to fertilize the ova of a female.”

    It also directs schools and other state agencies to use these definitions when collecting vital statistics and further directs schools to provide dedicated restrooms and locker room facilities for boys and girls, respectively.

  • 10. VIRick  |  August 2, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    Bulgaria Passes LGBT-Inclusive Hate Crimes Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 28 July 2023, the National Assembly of Bulgaria passed an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law that stiffens penalties for hate-motivated attacks and vandalism, and that criminalizes incitement to hatred.

    Until now, Bulgaria was one of only a handful of EU member states without an effective and comprehensive hate crimes law, the others being Italy and Poland. Also, Ireland has a hate crimes law that only includes sexual orientation as a protected ground, but a bill to add gender identity is expected to finally be debated there this fall.

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 3, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Texas: ACLU Sues State over Drag Ban Law

    On 2 August 2023, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas sued the Texas Attorney-General and other defendants to prevent Senate Bill 12 from taking effect from 1 September. If permitted to do so, it would ban drag performances in most public venues.

    In the ACLU’s lawsuit, the group asserts that SB 12, which includes a ban on drag performances, violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments and threatens Texans’ livelihoods and free expression. For artists and those who support them, the ban targets any performance that could be construed as “sexual” and imposes criminal penalties, including a year in jail.

    Many constitutionally protected performances could be censored by this law, such as touring Broadway plays and professional cheerleading routines, or karaoke nights and drag shows, the ACLU said in a statement. Among the plaintiffs are The Woodlands Pride, Abilene Pride Alliance, Extragrams LLC, 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, and Austin-based drag artist Brigitte Bandit.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  August 3, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Florida bans AP psychology over gender identity, sexual orientation lessons

    Florida will not allow public school students to take Advanced Placement psychology because the course includes lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity, topics forbidden by the state, the College Board said Thursday.

    According to the College Board, the Florida Department of Education told school superintendents they could offer AP psychology only if lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity were omitted. But the College Board said those are part of the class and, if deleted, the course will not be able to carry the AP designation.

    “This element of the framework is not new: gender and sexual orientation have been part of AP Psychology since the course launched 30 years ago. As we shared in June, we cannot modify AP Psychology in response to regulations that would censor college-level standards for credit, placement, and career readiness.”

    The class is popular across the state and region. Last year, 3,100 students in Orange County Public Schools were enrolled, with nearly 2,000 more took it in Lake, Osceola and Seminole county public schools.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 3, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Slovenia: Within 6 Months, 345 Same-Sex Civil Partnerships Converted to Marriages

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In total, 345 same-sex civil partnerships registered with the Civil Registry were converted into marital unions within the 6-month legal deadline of 31 July 2023, once the marriage equality legislation entered into force from 31 January 2023, the Interior Ministry stated.

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 3, 2023 at 10:17 pm

    Ukraine: Transgender Servicewoman Is Official Armed Forces Spokesperson

    Russian propagandists have reacted rather hysterically to the news that a transgender military servicewoman from the United States has become the official spokesperson of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

    On 3 August 2023, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar noted that Sarah Ashton-Cirillo has been defending Ukraine since March 2022, serving as a combat medic in the Territorial Defense Forces, and holds the rank of junior sergeant. She has been injured in front-line combat, and now serves as Armed Forces spokesperson.

    Maliar emphasized that Ashton-Cirillo provides information to an English-speaking audience and objectively covers the events of the war, while refuting Russian fake news and propaganda narratives.

  • 15. Randolph_Finder  |  August 6, 2023 at 5:32 am

    Sometimes I think that the Ukrainian liberalization on LGBT issues is half caused by higher publicity for LGBT Ukrainian soldiers and half caused by an absolute sincere desire to annoy the Russians in *any* way possible.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  August 6, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Show Ukraine some love:

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  August 7, 2023 at 10:28 am

    Red Cross ends blood donation restrictions that singled out gay and bisexual men

    The American Red Cross is now allowing gay and bisexual men to donate blood without restrictions that specifically single out a person’s sexual orientation or gender, the nonprofit group said Monday.

    The Red Cross is implementing new Food and Drug Administration screening guidelines that apply to all potential donors and are based on an individual risk assessment. The nonprofit group provides about 40% of the nation’s blood supply.

    Under the new FDA guidelines, men in monogamous sexual relationships with other men are eligible to donate as long as they meet other screening criteria. Previously, men who had sex with men had to remain abstinent for three months before donating blood.

    The three-month waiting period now applies to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, who has had sex with a new partner or multiple people and has also had anal sex.

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  August 8, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    Florida school district censors Shakespeare to comply with Don’t Say Gay law

    Gaither High School teacher Joseph Cool told the Tampa Bay Times that because there is “some raunchiness in Shakespeare,” the Hillsborough County school district decided to limit students to only reading certain excerpts of his work rather than full plays.

    Cool knows it isn’t the district’s fault, but he isn’t happy with the change. He said reading all of Macbeth with his 10th graders last year “gave them a sense of connection between stuff that happened in the past and things that are not necessarily in the past. The choices that we make, power struggles, delusions of grandeur. It is so rich in content and things that you can have discussions about, academic and scholarly discussions.”

    “Honestly, it feels that much of this is intentional, in order to cause as much chaos in public education as possible,” wrote school board member Jessica Vaughn on Facebook, “so that the collapse of public education is swift and the agenda of education privatization can move forward with less obstacles.”

    Vaughn added, “I spent hours on the phone this morning with frustrated parents (of all partisanship) who are outraged with the direction of public education and who feel like the people who are influencing public education policies have zero stake in public education and don’t have children who utilize our public school system. Parents want their students to be educated and competitive on a national level. Denying access to things like AP psychology, accurate black history, critical thinking and Shakespeare is not benefitting or protecting our children. It’s giving them a disadvantage – nationally.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  August 8, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Florida School District Bans Trans Employees From Using Their Pronouns

    A major Florida school district, in order to comply with state law, has issued guidance that will bar transgender employees from sharing their preferred pronouns and force trans students and staff to use group restrooms that follow their "biological sex at birth."

    Orange County Public Schools — the fourth-largest district in Florida with about 209,000 students at 210 schools — released the new guidance on Monday for the 2023-24 academic year.

    “For our transgender students and employees, they must be provided single stall restrooms for their usage,” the guidance said. “Transgender students and employees may not enter into a group restroom which is designated for the sex other than their biological sex at birth.”

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  August 9, 2023 at 5:00 am

    New Hampshire repeals its "gay panic" defense

    Governor Chris Sununu signs several bills into law, including one stopping what’s called a “panic defense.”

    A panic defense is used in a criminal case to justify actions taken based on someone’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

    Governor Sununu signed House bill 315, which stops someone from using that as a defense.

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  August 9, 2023 at 7:14 am

    World Bank halts new lending to Uganda over anti-LGBTQ law

  • 22. VIRick  |  August 10, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    Guerrero: First Equal Marriage Celebrated in Municipality of Eduardo Neri

    El primer matrimonio igualitario en el municipio de Eduardo Neri, en la región Centro del estado de Guerrero, fue celebrado la mañana de este jueves, el 10 de agosto 2023, cuando Johana Marín Marín y Zamantha Mabel Fidencio Carvajal formalizaron su enlace conyugal ante la ley.

    La ceremonia se realizó en oficinas de la Diversidad Sexual del Ayuntamiento del referido municipio, que se encuentra en su cabecera municipal, Zumpango del Río, dónde las firmas de Johana y Zamantha quedaron asentadas en el acta 105.

    The first equal marriage in the municipality of Eduardo Neri, in the central region of Guerrero state, was celebrated Thursday morning, 10 August 2023, when Johana Marín Marín and Zamantha Mabel Fidencio Carvajal formalized their marriage before the law.

    The ceremony was held in the offices of Sexual Diversity of the City Council of the aforementioned municipality, located at its municipal seat, Zumpango del Río, where the signatures of Johana and Zamantha were recorded on certificate 105.

    Actually, as best as can be determined, this equal marriage also appears to be the first such in Guerrero state since the marriage equality legislation came into force in early 2023, once the governor finally signed it. However, even in late February 2023, there were multiple complaints that the marriage application forms and the ceremonial format of the procedure had not yet been adapted to accommodate same-sex couples. The 180 days allowed for the enactment of such secondary procedural laws expired by 23 April 2023.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  August 10, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Iraq bans media using term ‘homosexuality’: must use ‘sexual deviance’ instead

    Iraq’s official media regulator on Tuesday ordered all media and social media companies operating in the Arab state not to use the term “homosexuality” and instead to say “sexual deviance,” a government spokesperson said and a document from the regulator shows.

    The Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (CMC) document said the use of the term “gender” was also banned. It prohibited all phone and internet companies licensed by it from using the terms in any of their mobile applications.

    A government official later said the decision still required final approval.

    A government spokesperson said a penalty for violating the rule had not yet been set but could include a fine.

    Iraq does not explicitly criminalize gay sex but loosely defined morality clauses in its penal code have been used to target members of the LGBT community.

    Major Iraqi parties have in the past two months stepped up criticism of LGBT rights, with rainbow flags frequently being burned in protests by Shi’ite Muslim factions opposed to recent Koran burnings in Sweden and Denmark.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  August 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Clarence Thomas’ 38 Vacations: The Other Billionaires Who Have Treated the Supreme Court Justice to Luxury Travel

    The fullest accounting yet shows how Thomas has secretly reaped the benefits from a network of wealthy and well-connected patrons that is far more extensive than previously understood.

  • 25. VIRick  |  August 10, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    Thailand: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Move Forward Party, the party which won the most seats in the recent general election, but which appears to be shut out of the likely governing coalition that is to be voted upon next week, has re-submitted bills on same-sex marriage and gender identity recognition. The previous bills were scheduled to lapse if Parliament had not taken them up by September.

    Amid Thailand’s ongoing political crisis are rumors that the King’s son, who recently returned to the country from exile in the USA, may be positioned to inherit the throne after his half-sister has taken ill. The son is believed to be a progressive reformist.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  August 11, 2023 at 1:29 am

    King's second son back in Thailand after 27 years

    Vacharaesorn is second of the four sons of HM the King and his former consort Sujarinee Vivacharawongse. Their younger sister is Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, who lives in Thailand. The four brothers had their primary education in Thailand before moving to the United States.

    Vacharaesorn has both bachelor's and master's degrees in law from Stetson University College of Law in the United States. He is a legal counsellor at a law firm in New York, where he has lived for 27 years.

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  August 11, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz calls LGBTQ+ people “degenerate” while announcing prayer-in-schools bill

    Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says that he will soon introduce what he is calling the “National Prayer in School Act” tomorrow, saying that the bill will protect the right to pray in schools and stop “degenerate LGBT” propaganda.

    Students are already allowed to pray in school as long as they don’t disrupt school activities, a right that’s protected by the First Amendment. Prayer organized by public schools, though, has been banned since the early 1960s in several Supreme Court decisions.

    Gaetz called LGBTQ+ people degenerates when announcing his intention to file the bill to The Daily Caller, a far-right website founded by white nationalist Tucker Carlson.

    Gaetz isn’t the first Republican House member this year to call LGBTQ+ people degenerates, a word that comes from a Latin word that means “to be inferior to one’s ancestors” and is associated with the Third Reich. In May, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) complained about North Face and other companies advertising to LGBTQ+ people.

    “How many times do we have to explain to the woke marketing departments at these disgusting companies that America is not a nation of degenerates?” she tweeted.

  • 28. VIRick  |  August 11, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Idaho: Federal Judge Blocks Bathroom Law Targeting Transgender Students

    Transgender students in Idaho can use restrooms that match their gender identity, while a challenge to a new state law proceeds, after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction halting the law’s implementation.

    Republicans passed Senate Bill 1100 earlier this year that prohibited transgender students from using restrooms or locker rooms in alignment with their gender identity. Those who witness another student using a bathroom that does not match their sex assigned at birth may sue their school, the law stipulates.

    “The court puts a pause on SB 1100,” US District Judge David Nye wrote in his order of 10 August 2023. "It does not find it unconstitutional. It does not find it constitutional. This is not a full adjudication of any argument on the merits.” Nye’s temporary restraining order will prevent the law from becoming effective before the new school year begins.

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 11, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    Arizona: A Mega-Class-Action Suit against State over Transgender Rights

    On 10 August 2023, a federal district court in Tucson granted plaintiffs’ request to certify a class-action in a case that is challenging Arizona’s requirement that transgender people undergo a “sex change operation” before switching gender markers listed on their birth certificates. The archaic pre-condition is being challenged in a lawsuit first filed nearly three years ago by the National Center for Lesbian Rights on behalf of three families with transgender children.

    Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in 2020, assert Arizona’s surgery pre-requisite violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment, thus making it unconstitutional. “Arizona’s outdated surgery requirement is particularly harmful for transgender youth who are effectively barred from correcting the gender marker on their birth certificates because few transgender young people undergo any surgical treatment,” the organization said. “For young people, their birth certificate affects everything from school records to camp registration.”

    The three transgender plaintiffs in the case sought to correct their birth certificates, but were denied the change due to the surgery requirement. Their inability to correct gender markers has caused practical problems and harms, according to NCLR. The lawsuit also addresses the misconception that surgery is always necessary, or even desired, for gender transition.

    “The most common surgical procedure that is medically necessary for transgender young people is male chest reconstruction surgery,” the lawsuit reads. “That procedure is specifically for transgender males. However, because of the increasing availability of puberty-delaying medication, an increasing number of transgender boys never develop breasts and therefore never need that surgery.” With class-action status, that argument now applies to all Arizonans confronted with this burdensome and discriminatory requirement.

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  August 12, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints anti-LGBTQ+ extremist to the appeals bench of Central and Southwest Florida

    Roger Gannam works for the Liberty Counsel, an evangelical organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an extremist hate group.

  • 31. ianbirmingham  |  August 12, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    Legal experts question judge's order telling Southwest lawyers to get religious-liberty training from anti-LGBTQ 'Alliance Defending Freedom'

    U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr, nominated to the bench by former President Donald Trump, said Southwest didn't understand federal protections for religious freedom. So this week, he ordered three of the airline's lawyers to undergo religious-liberty training. And he said that the Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, “is particularly well-suited" to do the training.

    David Lopez, who was general counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Obama administration, said Southwest could argue that training by a conservative Christian group violates the religious rights of its lawyers, especially if any follow other faiths or none at all.

    Lopez said the EEOC often insisted on training for employers found to have discriminated, but that the agency and the company would agree on who would conduct that training.

    “What happened here, I've never seen that,” said Lopez, who is now a law professor at Rutgers University.

    U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr is the nephew of Kenneth Starr, a former federal judge who led the investigations into former President Bill Clinton that led to Clinton's impeachment in a sex scandal.

    U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr, who had not previously served as a judge at any level, is a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.

  • 32. VIRick  |  August 12, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Panamá/Colombia Same-Sex Plaintiffs Still Awaiting Legal Recognition in Panamá

    Per Juan Alonzo, the Panamanian Plaintiff:

    Hace 6 años, el 12 de agosto 2017, la hermana República de Colombia nos reconocía como familia en un acto formal de Matrimonio Civil, garantizando así nuestros derechos civiles en Colombia. Sigo creyendo que algún día mi país de Panamá me reconocerá como sujeto de Derechos.

    On 12 August 2017, 6 years ago, the sister Republic of Colombia recognized us as family in a formal act of Civil Marriage, thus guaranteeing our civil rights in Colombia. I continue believing that one day my country of Panamá will recognize me as subject to Rights.


  • 33. ianbirmingham  |  August 15, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    Orange Trumpanzee & crew's RICO indictment in Georgia gets anti-corruption judge

    Appointed to the bench by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and sworn in on Feb. 1, 2023, Scott McAfee most recently served as the Georgia inspector general, where he was tasked with overseeing fraud and corruption within Georgia's executive branch.

    "Scott McAfee is a strong addition to my administration," Kemp said in the statement in 2021 about McAfee's appointment. "His experience as a tough prosecutor equips him to search out fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption, and bring those to justice who break the law."

    Across his ten-year career as a lawyer, McAfee has spent all but six months in public service, notably working for three and a half years with the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. He also worked as a federal prosecutor in Georgia and as an assistant district attorney in Barrow County, Georgia.

  • 34. VIRick  |  August 16, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    North Carolina: State Lawmakers Override Veto of 3 Anti-LGBTQ Bills

    On 16 August 2023, North Carolina legislators, both in the state House and Senate, overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of three anti-LGBTQ bills.

    One limits instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, similar to Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law. Another bans gender-affirming healthcare procedures for transgender minors. The third bars trans girls from playing on female sports teams in all public schools and many private ones, middle school through college.

    All of the measures now become law and take effect immediately, although trans minors already receiving gender-affirming healthcare as of 1 August 2023 can continue on it if they have parental consent and their doctors say it is medically necessary.

    North Carolina is the 22nd state to ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans minors, the 23rd with a trans-exclusionary sports law, and the 11th with a curriculum censorship law.

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  August 17, 2023 at 6:00 am

    Georgia’s peculiar pardon system is bad news for Orange Trumpanzee & his crew

    Federal prosecutors know that if Donald Trump wins the 2024 election, he can disrupt their criminal cases against him — either by ordering the Justice Department to dismiss the charges or by attempting to pardon himself. But in Georgia, where Trump faces racketeering charges for his bid to subvert the 2020 election, he will have no power to shut down the case.

    Presidents can issue pardons only for federal crimes, and the Georgia indictment involves exclusively state crimes. Trump couldn’t even seek help from the state’s governor, because in Georgia, unlike many other states, the governor cannot issue pardons.

    Instead, pardons are issued by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, a five-member panel authorized by the state constitution. The board considers applications beginning at least five years after an individual has completed his or her sentence. That timeline differs from the federal system, where presidents can issue pardons before a person has even been prosecuted.

    Perhaps most challenging for Trump is that one of the primary qualities the board looks for in pardon applicants is someone who has taken responsibility for their actions and has shown remorse for them.

  • 36. VIRick  |  August 17, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Nuevo León: First Same-Sex Marriage between Male Prison Inmates

    Per "Altavoz.LGBT," datelined 16 August 2023, Apodaca, Nuevo León:

    Por primera vez en Nuevo León, se celebró una boda entre dos hombres privados de su libertad en el Centro de Reinserción Social de Apodaca.

    Jonathan de 25 años y Pedro de 26 son dos hombres gay que se encuentran cumpliendo una sentencia en el Centro de Reinserción Social (CERESO) de Apodaca, Nuevo León, donde se conocieron hace alrededor de tres años, e iniciaron una relación sentimental poco después. Tras un par de años de relación, decidieron casarse y solicitaron la ayuda de abogadas y activistas que les acompañaran en el trámite ante las autoridades.

    En Nuevo León, el matrimonio igualitario fue aprobado por ley por el Congreso del Estado apenas en Junio 2023. Sin embargo, lleva años realizándose en el estado, gracias a los amparos interpuestos por sociedad civil y a un fallo de 2019 de la Suprema Corte (SCJN)

    For the first time in Nuevo León, a marriage was celebrated between two men deprived of their liberty at the Apodaca Social Reintegration Center.

    Jonathan, 25, and Pedro, 26, are two gay men who are serving a sentence at the Apodaca Social Reintegration Center (CERESO) in Nuevo León, where they met about three years ago, and initiated a sentimental relationship shortly thereafter. Following several years of relationship, they decided to marry and requested the help of lawyers and activists who would accompany them in the process before the authorities.

    In Nuevo León, marriage equality was only just approved by law by the State Congress in June 2023. However, it has been happening in the state for many years, thanks to the amparos filed by civil society and a 2019 ruling from the Supreme Court (SCJN).

  • 37. VIRick  |  August 18, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    Virginia: Prince William County Rejects New Guidelines for Trans/Non-Binary Students

    On 17 August 2023, Prince William County Schools announced that it will not accept Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) revised guidelines for transgender and non-binary students. "PWCS policies already prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity consistent with Virginia law.”

    Earlier in the week, Fairfax County Public Schools, the state's largest school district, had become the latest Virginia school district to announce the same rejection of Youngkin’s guidelines that the state Department of Education released in July. On 15 August, a statement issued by FCPS Superintendent Michelle Reid assured constituents that the current Fairfax County policies for trans and non-binary students will remain unchanged.

    Arlington County School District had already announced the same.

    On 15 August 2023, the Spotsylvania County School Board adopted the new guidelines for transgender and non-binary students that Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) unveiled last month. So far, it is the only county within the extended DC Metro area to have done so.

  • 38. VIRick  |  August 18, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    New Zealand: 10th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    El 19 de agosto 2013, Nueva Zelanda se convirtió en el primer país de Oceanía, el cuarto en el hemisferio sur, y el decimoquinto en el mundo en legalizar el matrimonio igualitario.

    On 19 August 2013, New Zealand became the first country in Oceania, the fourth in the southern hemisphere, and the fifteenth worldwide to legalize marriage equality.

  • 39. VIRick  |  August 19, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Colombia: First Transgender Man as City Council Member

    Per "Noticias LGBT:"

    En Argelia, Valle del Cauca, el 10 de agosto 2023, se posesionó el primer hombre transgénero concejal de Colombia, asumiendo una curul en ese municipio luego de la renuncia de otro concejal. Andrés Felipe Gómez estará en el Concejo de Argelia, Valle, hasta finales de este año, 2023, pero no se postuló nuevamente en la elección actual.

    In Argelia, Valle del Cauca, on 10 August 2023, the first male transgender council member in Colombia took office, assuming a seat in that municipality after the resignation of another councilor. Andrés Felipe Gómez will be in the Council of Argelia, Valle, until the end of this year, 2023, as he did not run again in the current election.

    In Colombia, like in many Latin nations, candidates running for elected office do so in pairs. If actually elected, the first-named of the two is the actual winner, and holds the seat. However, if for any reason, that person is subsequently unable to continue serving during their term, the pre-selected alternate will then step in and automatically assume the position, as happened here with this city council seat in Argelia.

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

    Nebraska: Appeal Filed with State Supreme Court to Overturn Trans/Abortion Restrictions

    Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and its medical director, Dr. Sarah Traxler, are appealing the dismissal of their lawsuit challenging a Nebraska state law that bans most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy and that also restricts gender-affirming healthcare for transgender people under the age of 19.

    They argue that the law violates the Nebraska constitution, which stipulates that any piece of legislation should deal with one subject only. Attorney-General Mike Hilgers had countered that the legislation complied with the constitution because the restrictions on abortion and transition procedures both deal with healthcare. Lancaster County District Court Judge Lori Maret agreed with Hilgers and dismissed the suit on 11 August 2023. Lancaster County includes Lincoln, the state capital.

    The Planned Parenthood group and Traxler filed the notice of appeal with the Nebraska Supreme Court on 18 August 2023. They are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, its Nebraska affiliate, and Powers Law.

  • 41. VIRick  |  August 21, 2023 at 10:05 am

    Georgia: Federal Judge Issues Temporary Injunction against Gender-Affirming Care Ban

    On 20 August 2023, a federal district judge issued a temporary injunction against part of Georgia’s new gender-affirming healthcare ban. SB 140 was signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in March. It revokes the licenses of medical professionals who administer surgeries or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for transgender youth under the age of 18. The law creates an exemption for cisgender youth, as they are allowed gender-affirming care to conform to their sex assigned at birth.

    The injunction blocks the part of the law banning HRT from going into effect, while the ban on gender-affirming surgery still stands (though trans minors almost never receive gender-affirming surgery anyway). However, despite having banned HRT, SB 140 does not ban puberty blockers. The Human Rights Campaign said allowing one but not the other essentially creates a “bridge to nowhere.”

    The injunction came as the result of a lawsuit filed by the parents of four transgender girls, with the help of the Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The lawsuit argues that SB 140 “violates the fundamental rights of parents to make medical decisions to ensure the health and well-being of their children” and also “violates the guarantees of Equal Protection by denying transgender youth essential, and often lifesaving, medical treatment based on their sex and on their transgender status.”

    The summary conclusion to the order granting the preliminary injunction is here:

  • 42. VIRick  |  August 21, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    Guatemala: Surprise! A Progressive Actually Won the Presidency

    Bernardo Arévalo, el candidato que dio la sorpresa, se convertirá en el presidente más progresista desde el retorno a la democracia hace casi 40 años (es decir, desde 1985, después de más de tres décadas de gobierno militar anterior). Fue la gran sorpresa en primera vuelta y lo volvió a hacer en la votación final de las elecciones presidenciales de Guatemala.

    Bernardo Arévalo, el aspirante progresista que rompe con la tendencia conservadora de los últimos gobiernos y que se presentó como "el candidato anticorrupción," y que dejará atrás la clase política tradicional, ganó holgadamente los comicios este domingo pasado, el 20 de agosto 2023, con el 58% de los votos.

    Bernardo Arévalo, the candidate who gave the surprise, will become the most progressive president since the return of democracy almost 40 years ago (that is, since 1985, after more than three decades of military rule before it). He was the big surprise in the first round and did it again in the run-off of the presidential election in Guatemala.

    Bernardo Arévalo, the progressive candidate who breaks with the conservative trend of the recent governments and who presented himself as "the anti-corruption candidate," and who will leave the traditional political class behind, comfortably won the election this past Sunday, 20 August 2023, with 58% of the vote.

  • 43. VIRick  |  August 21, 2023 at 10:14 pm

    11th Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Alabama Injunction on Gender-Affirming Care Ban

    On 21 August 2023, a federal appeals court reversed an injunction against Alabama’s law banning gender-affirming care for people under 19, allowing enforcement of the ban to take effect in the state. A three-judge panel on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a district court judge’s temporary injunction against the law, which bans the use of puberty blockers and hormones to treat trans children. The judge had set a trial date for 2 April to determine whether the law would be permanently blocked.

    The injunction will remain in place until the court issues the official mandate, which could take days, but once the injunction is officially lifted, the ban on gender-affirming care can be enforced. This marks the second such appellate victory against gender-affirming care restrictions, which have been adopted by a growing number of conservative states.

    The judges wrote that, in reversing the injunction, states have “a compelling interest in protecting children from drugs, particularly those for which there is uncertainty regarding benefits, recent surges in use, and irreversible effects.”

  • 44. VIRick  |  August 21, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    9th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Preliminary Injunction Blocking Idaho Sports Ban

    In 2020, the state of Idaho passed a law that would prohibit transgender women and girls from competing on female sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges, and universities, a law that has subsequently been blocked.

    On 18 August 2023, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judge’s preliminary injunction blocking the Idaho law, ruling that the transgender sports ban discriminates not just against transgender women but against all women.

    In the decision, the judges said that the Idaho law “perpetuates historic discrimination against both cisgender and transgender women by categorically excluding transgender women from athletic competition and subjecting all women to an invasive sex dispute verification process.”

  • 45. VIRick  |  August 22, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    Kansas: Trans Kansans Can Intervene in Driver's License Gender Marker Lawsuit

    Transgender Kansans will have a chance to make their voices heard in a lawsuit over gender markers on Kansas driver’s licenses. On 18 August 2023, Shawnee County Judge Teresa Watson granted a motion by five trans Kansans to intervene in the case, in which Attorney-General Kris Kobach (R) is seeking to deny gender changes on satd licenses.

    In July, Kobach sued the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Division of Vehicles. He asserts that it violates a new state law to let Kansans list anything other than the gender they were assigned at birth on their driver’s licenses.

    That law, Senate Bill 180, defines gender as binary and fixed at birth. Legislators overrode Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto to pass it, and it took effect from 1 July. Kobach had lost the 2018 governor’s race to Kelly, but then was elected A-G in 2022. Watson has granted a temporary restraining order blocking gender changes to licenses while the case proceeds.

    The intervenors are Adam Kellogg, Kathryn Redman, Juliana Ophelia Gonzales-Wahl, and two who remain anonymous. They are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, the national ACLU, and the law firm of Stinson LLP. On 16 August, Watson heard arguments from both sides in the case, and two days later she ruled that the trans Kansans can intervene.

  • 46. VIRick  |  August 22, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    New South Wales: Gay MP to Introduce Comprehensive LGBT Equality Bill

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Openly gay independent member of the New South Wales state parliament in Australia Alex Greenwich has announced he will introduce a private member’s bill to deliver comprehensive LGBT Equality on 24 August 2023. The bill would ban "conversion therapy," remove the surgical requirement to update gender markers on state IDs, fully decriminalize sex work, eliminate loopholes allowing anti-LGBT discrimination in private schools, make it a domestic violence offense to threaten to "out" a same-sex partner, as well as amend and up-date 15 additional LGBT-related measures.

    The NSW government has said it will consider the legislation, although it has previously committed to passing at least some of these initiatives on their own.

  • 47. VIRick  |  August 22, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    Brasil: Supreme Court Rules Homophobic Slurs Punishable by Prison

    On 22 August 2023, the Supreme Court of Brasil ruled that individual homophobic slurs are now punishable by prison, in a decision applauded by rights activists in a country with rampant violence against the LGBTQ community. The 9-1 ruling puts homophobic hate speech on the same legal level as racist hate speech, which in Brasil was already punishable by prison.

    Justice Edson Fachin, the lead judge on the case, said in his ruling it was a "constitutional imperative" to give LGBTQ citizens equal protection under the law. In 2019, the court had ruled that homophobia was a crime, just like racism.

    But, that earlier decision applied to slurs against the LGBTQ community as a whole, not to attacks on specific individuals. As a result, the rights group ABGLT brought the instant case to extend said legal protections further.

  • 48. VIRick  |  August 23, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    Germany: Cabinet Approves Self-Determining Gender Identity Law

    Germany is taking steps to smooth the process for transgender, intersex, and non-binary individuals to legally change their names and gender, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition attempts to deliver on a pledge to make society more inclusive.

    On 23 August 2023, Scholz’s cabinet approved a draft Self-Determination Law which would enable citizens to update their gender entry and their first names without having to endure court proceedings or having to provide an expert psychiatric opinion, processes that some have complained can be demeaning and traumatic.

    Following parliamentary approval, the new rules, which would take effect in November 2024 at the earliest, would mean that a person would simply need to make a declaration to the registry office affirming that the requested change best corresponds to their gender identity, and that they are aware of the implications. Under certain conditions, the option would be accessible to minors from the age of 14 years.

  • 49. ianbirmingham  |  August 25, 2023 at 11:37 pm

    India: Delhi High Court asks parents of a lesbian girl to undergo counselling to accept their daughter as per her wishes

    The Delhi High Court has directed a shelter home in the national capital to provide counselling to the parents and maternal uncle of a lesbian woman to prepare them to accept her as per her wishes.

    The order came from a bench comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by a friend of the lesbian woman claiming that she was missing.

    The bench also interacted with the parties involved and directed the police to take the woman to the shelter home in the national capital and make necessary arrangements in regard to her boarding and lodging.

    The lesbian woman refused to go with her parents and told the court that she did not wish to accompany her parents or any of her relatives and would either go with her petitioner friend or to the shelter home.

    The High Court directed the shelter home director to provide counselling to the woman as well as her family members on alternate days. It further directed the “parents and all other concerned” to “not to extend any kind of threat or undue pressure upon” their daughter and lesbian woman’s friend who filed the habeas corpus petition in the court.

    “It is further directed that parents of (the woman) shall also be counselled at least on an alternative day to prepare them to accept (her) as per her wishes. The parents and maternal uncle are directed to approach the aforesaid shelter home for counselling, who shall be counselled by the Director and if they wish for further counselling, they shall be counselled accordingly, on the alternate days, thereafter,” said the High Court.

    The parents of the lesbian woman woman agreed before the High Court that their daughter should be sent to the shelter home in order to “reflect and introspect about her future”.

  • 50. VIRick  |  August 26, 2023 at 3:58 pm

    Texas: Gender-Affirming Care Ban to Go into Effect

    On 25 August 2023, a state-level court in Texas issued an injunction blocking enforcement of its ban on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender individuals, but Attorney-General Ken Paxton quickly filed an appeal, and under Texas law, its filing of an appeal automatically lifts the injunction.

    Families, health care providers, and LGBTQ+ organizations filed suit in July to block Senate Bill 14 before the legislation goes into effect September 1. Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 14 into law in June, making it the most populous state to enact such a measure. But with Paxton’s action, it will take effect as scheduled.

  • 51. VIRick  |  August 26, 2023 at 4:17 pm


    In Missouri, St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer declined to issue an injunction in a lawsuit brought by families, health care professionals, and LGBTQ groups. Gov. Mike Parson signed that state’s ban, Senate Bill 49, on 7 June 2023. Ohmer’s decision means it will go into effect from Monday, 28 August 2023, as planned.

    The Missouri law 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 against it was brought by the families of three transgender people, Southampton Community Healthcare and two of its medical providers, and also PFLAG and GLMA. They are represented by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. As in Texas, they argue that the ban violates the state constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws, interferes with parents’ rights to control their children’s health care, and will cause irreparable harm to the people affected by it.

    Ohmer held a hearing on evidence in the case this week, and Friday he released an order saying he would not issue the injunction. He wrote that the plaintiffs “have not clearly shown a sufficient threat of irreparable injury absent injunctive relief” and that there was no “clear public interest” in favor of the injunction. “The science and medical evidence is conflicting and unclear,” Ohmer added. “Accordingly, the evidence raises more questions than answers.”

  • 52. ianbirmingham  |  August 26, 2023 at 5:28 pm

    Alina Shevchenko, a member of Ukraine's armed forces since 2015, symbolically marries her partner Stanislava Petlytsia, an LGBTQ+ activist, as part of a performance for Kharkiv Pride

    Without state recognition of a marriage or civil partnership, partners of those serving in the military do not have the right to receive official information on whether their partner has been wounded, captured, or killed on the battlefield.

    In case of injury, the partner of the fighter is not allowed to visit them in intensive care or make decisions on their behalf. An unrecognized partner cannot be recognized as the veteran's guardian in case they become incapacitated.

    In case of death, the partner has no right to carry out the last will and testament of the deceased. If both die, they have no right to be buried together in a family grave.

    The lack of marriage equality also impacts life at home, as same-sex couples are not allowed to jointly own property, and one partner cannot inherit property or receive state support after the death of a partner.

    The performance of Shevchenko and Petlytsia began at the Kharkiv Civil Registry Office. The ceremony followed Ukrainian wedding traditions, such as sprinkling petals, rice, and coins, throwing a bouquet, and taking photos with their guests.

    Shevchenko, who holds the military rank of captain, said that other soldiers she fights with are aware of her sexual orientation and knew about her engagement plans.

    "I probably already bragged about the ring and my status to everyone," she told LGBT Military, a Ukrainian NGO that advocates for gay members of the Armed Forces.

    "It is very important for us to have the same legal protection for our family and security guarantees from the state as heterosexual couples have," Shevchenko said.

    56% of Ukrainians agree that LGBT couples should have the right to civil partnerships.

  • 53. Randolph_Finder  |  August 28, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    I know that there won't be Marriage Equality in Ukraine *soon*.Marriage being Hetero in baked into the Ukrainian constitution (Article 51: Marriage is based on the free consent of a woman and a man. Each of the spouses has equal rights and duties in the marriage and family.) *and* the constitution doesn't allow changes during a "State of Emergency" which they are most certainly in now (and I don't expect it to stop until at least a month after Russian Missiles stop landing in Kiev).

    I'm not sure what the draft law would do, but it won't be full marriage equality. And I'm not sure that Ukraine would make the full jump to Marriage by another name at this point, but I'm hoping that Civil Partnerships would be close.

    Note, of *all* of Ukraine's neighbors (Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Slovakia. ) only Hungary has Civil Unions (not equal to Marriage) and frankly I'm surprised that Orban hasn't succeeded in killing *that*.

  • 54. ianbirmingham  |  August 29, 2023 at 12:09 am

    Slovakia's President, Zuzana Čaputová, has stated that she supports registered partnerships for same-sex couples, and educating the general public on these relationships. In a discussion organized by SME, she lectured on the possibility of adoption by gay couples: "I prefer the child to have a biological mother and a biological father. If he were to grow up in institutional care, I think he'd be better off with two loving beings, even if they were of the same sex."

  • 55. Randolph_Finder  |  August 29, 2023 at 7:32 am

    I guess that's *something*. As far as I can tell this is, *when* we run out of hetero couples to adopt, we'll look at having gay/lesbian couples adopt.

  • 56. ianbirmingham  |  August 27, 2023 at 7:32 am

    Campus Pride dumps UCF, UNF from rankings of best universities for LGBTQ

    Campus Pride excluded the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of North Florida (UNF) from its Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities list. That’s despite both colleges earning high marks in prior years.

    Instead, the organization issued a “red alert” cautioning students against attending.

    The reason? The organization issued a press release citing a new law (SB 266) overhauling Florida’s higher education system in part by prohibiting spending on diversity, equity and inclusion programs or classes.

    “New laws in Texas and Florida effectively require colleges and universities in those states to cease LGBTQ+ inclusive programs, services and policies. Students and families must exercise caution in choosing to go to college on any public Florida or Texas campus.”

    The warning notably came out the same week the Florida Board of Education approved several controversial measures including enforcement requirements on segregating bathrooms and changing facilities by gender at birth, even in student housing.

    Notably, Campus Pride’s Best of the Best list in 2022 ranked UNF as the top school in the Southeast United States.

    UCF, which boasts the second highest enrollment of any university in the U.S, was ranked in 2021 by Campus Pride as the best university in Florida for LGBTQ students to attend.

  • 57. VIRick  |  August 28, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    Uruguay Continues to Advertise Its Liberal Marriage Equality Law

    Per IMPO Uruguay:

    Se pueden unir en matrimonio dos personas de igual o diferente sexo, cualquiera sea su identidad de género u orientación sexual, siendo el matrimonio civil el único reconocido por nuestra ley. Más info:

    Two people of the same or different sex can be married, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, civil marriage being the only type recognized by our law. More info:

    IMPO = The Official Information Center responsible for disseminating and publicizing the legal regulations of Uruguay.

  • 58. VIRick  |  August 28, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    Indiana: ACLU Sues to Block Law Banning Gender-Affirming Surgery for Inmates

    Civil rights advocates are suing Indiana's Department of Corrections over the state law prohibiting gender-affirming surgery for inmates. On 28 August 2023, the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit against the department in federal court in Evansville.

    The lawsuit alleges that the law enacted in April violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause. The ACLU maintains that transgender surgery can be lifesaving. Health experts have found that gender dysphoria, or a sense of unease about one's gender identity, can lead to depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of suicide.

    In April 2023, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) also signed a bill prohibiting minors from accessing gender-affirming healthcare, such as transgender surgeries or medication. The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit challenging that law, as well.

  • 59. ianbirmingham  |  August 29, 2023 at 12:03 am

    U of Wyoming sorority sisters' lawsuit to oust transgender woman gets dismissed

    A federal court cannot interfere with the sorority chapter's freedom of association by ruling against its vote to induct the transgender woman last year, U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson ruled Friday.

    With no definition of a woman in sorority bylaws, Johnson ruled that he could not impose the six [butthurt sorority] sisters' definition of a woman in place of the sorority's more expansive definition provided in court.

    'With its inquiry beginning and ending there, the court will not define a 'woman' today.'

  • 60. ianbirmingham  |  August 29, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Support Increases For Same-Sex Marriage Legalization in Ukraine

    Recent survey results reveal a notable shift in public opinion toward legalizing same-sex marriage in Ukraine. According to data gathered on Ukraine’s Independence Day by the sociological group Rating, a significant portion of the population is opening up to same-sex unions.

    Among those surveyed, 37 percent supported legalizing same-sex marriage, 42 percent of Ukrainians were opposed, while 22 percent remained undecided. Within the 42 percent opposition group, 33 percent of Ukrainians said they were strongly against it.

    Age and gender emerged as key factors correlating with these viewpoints with younger respondents showing higher levels of support for same-sex marriage. The survey also revealed that women were more likely to accept same-sex unions than men.

    The human rights LGBT Our World Center hailed these changing attitudes as a positive sign of progress. Recent data from the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, published in June 2023, corroborated this trend.

    This study found that 28 percent of participants were in favor of introducing registered partnerships for same-sex couples, while 39 percent voiced opposition and 26 percent expressed indifference.

    Analysts at the Our World Center said that post-Russian invasion, Ukrainian society has witnessed a steady growth in acceptance of same-sex unions. The shift has been observed across various public opinion polls, indicating a rising tide of tolerance and approval.

    “The number of supporters of same-sex unions has nearly equaled the number of opponents, according to the Rating sociological group,” noted the Our World Center.

  • 61. VIRick  |  August 29, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    Massachusetts: Boston Drops Sex/Gender Marker on Marriage Certificates

    From 29 August 2023, couples filling out marriage certificates in Boston will no longer be required to identify their sex or gender under a new policy adopted by the city. The change is the first the city has made based on its new gender-aware guidelines, officials said. The goal is to provide more dignity to residents whose gender and sexual identities have historically gone unrecognized or unsupported by government agencies.

    “Our fundamental charge in public service is ensuring that our services and opportunities reach everyone, and that starts with affirming and supporting constituents of all identities,” Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement. "Boston must continue to work to dismantle the historic inequities and injustices that persist. This update to Boston marriage licenses is a huge step in building a city that is truly inclusive," she added.

    Boston residents who are already married and want to remove sex or gender identifiers from their marriage licenses can do so by contacting the city registry.

  • 62. VIRick  |  August 29, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    Colombia Begins Issuing Non-Binary Passports

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    From 24 August 2023, Colombia has begun issuing passports with the gender option “X,” for people who identify as non-binary, the foreign ministry said. Andrea Garzon, an official with the passport service who announced the move in a video on the foreign ministry’s website, stated, "The foreign ministry recognizes the diversity of genders."

    Previously, since March 2022, the non-binary "X" marker has been available in Colombia on the national identity cards, as well as on birth certificates. Now, it can also be obtained on passports.

  • 63. ianbirmingham  |  August 31, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    From Proud Boy to Cry Baby: Trumpanzee bawls over his 17-year sentence

    Federal Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that former Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs qualified for a terrorism sentencing enhancement because he tore down a fence that stood between police and rioters.

    Biggs sobbed as he was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

  • 64. VIRick  |  August 31, 2023 at 6:44 pm

    Texas: Judge Blocks Drag Ban from Taking Effect

    On 31 August 2023, on the eve of the Texas drag ban’s implementation, a federal judge stepped in and temporarily halted the law’s enforcement. While the court deliberates regarding a permanent injunction, the judge temporarily blocked Senate Bill 12, the drag ban, from taking effect on 1 September.

    On behalf of Abilene Pride Alliance, The Woodlands Pride, Extragrams, LLC, 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, and drag performer Brigitte Bandit, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed a lawsuit earlier this month. According to the plaintiffs, SB 12 threatens their livelihoods, censors their freedom of expression, and vilifies an ancient art form.

    The judge, US District Court Judge David Hittner, also wrote that he believed that the law was likely to be ruled unconstitutional. “The Court finds there is a substantial likelihood that SB 12 as drafted violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution under one or more of the legal theories put forward by the Plaintiffs,” Hittner wrote. “Regarding the irreparable harm element, the Court considers the impending infringement on the Plaintiffs' constitutional rights sufficient irreparable harm to warrant enjoining SB 12 while a final judgment is drafted.”

  • 65. VIRick  |  September 2, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    Texas: Ban on Gender-Affirming Healthcare for Minors Now in Effect

    As of 1 September 2023, Texas became the most populous state to ban gender-affirming healthcare for minors with gender dysphoria. On 31 August, the Texas Supreme Court denied a request for a temporary injunction to the state’s new law prohibiting gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth, thus allowing the ban to take effect on the following day, CNN reports.

    According to the new law, exceptions apply to intersex patients and to minors who began receiving gender-affirming care before 1 June. However, these patients will be required to stop taking their medications. Providers of such care who violate the law may lose their licenses.

    A state district court judge had imposed a stay on the ban, a matter that was then blocked by the state's appeal of the decision. The state supreme court then decided not to reinstate the stay and not to address any of the arguments raised by advocacy groups seeking temporary injunctions.

    There are now 22 contiguous states with bans on gender-affirming healthcare for minors: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

  • 66. VIRick  |  August 31, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    Japan: 3 More Prefectures to Offer Registries for Same-Sex Partnerships

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Starting tomorrow, 1 September 2023, Gifu Prefecture becomes the 14th prefecture (of 47) with an active registry for same-sex partners. While these registries are not legally binding, they can allow couples to access certain government services and housing. Two more prefectures, Shimane and Tottori, are set to begin registering couples in October.

  • 67. ianbirmingham  |  September 2, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    New Poll Shows Massive Backlash To Anti-LGBTQ School Policies

  • 68. ianbirmingham  |  September 4, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    Officials can’t interfere with Tennessee Pride festival under anti-drag law, judge rules

    A federal judge ruled Friday that law enforcement officials can’t use a Tennessee law that strictly limits drag shows to interfere with a local Pride festival this weekend, favoring event organizers who sued after a district attorney warned he intends to enforce the new statute even after another federal judge ruled it unconstitutional.

    U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer in Knoxville granted a temporary restraining order that prevents District Attorney Ryan Desmond and other local law enforcement officials from enforcing the state law or interfering with the Blount County Pride festival scheduled for Saturday. That includes no discouraging of third parties from hosting or modifying the event, including the venue of Maryville College, the judge wrote.

    Earlier this year, a federal judge across the state in Memphis ruled Tennessee’s anti-drag show law was “unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad,” and encouraged “discriminatory enforcement.” The ruling was celebrated by LGBTQ+ advocates, but it quickly sparked questions because the court declared the decision only applied to Shelby County, where Memphis lies.

    While some legal experts have speculated district attorneys across the state wouldn’t enforce a law a federal judge said violated the First Amendment, others, including state Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, were quick to point out the law remained in effect outside of Shelby County. Skrmetti’s office is appealing the ruling applying to Shelby County.

  • 69. VIRick  |  September 5, 2023 at 5:20 pm

    Hong Kong: Top Court Rules against Marriage Equality, Orders Alternate within 2 Years

    Hong Kong’s highest court has again declined to rule in favor of marriage equality, but it has ordered the city to establish some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples as an alternate within 2 years. On 5 September 2023, the Court of Final Appeal dismissed an appeal from LGBTQ and democracy activist Jimmy Sham, who argued that he has a constitutional right to the recognition of his marriage to another man. But it “effectively gave the government two years to ensure that rights, such as access to hospitals and inheritance, could be protected for same-sex couples,” Reuters reports.

    The justices wrote that there is a need “for access to an alternative legal framework in order to meet basic social requirements,” as quoted by Reuters. Justice Patrick Keane added, “The absence of legal recognition of [a same-sex couple’s] relationship is apt to disrupt and demean their private lives together in ways that constitute arbitrary interference,” according to the BBC.

    Sham married his partner in New York in 2013. He has gone to court in Hong Kong seeking recognition of his marriage but has been rejected twice. He has been jailed since 2021 for his pro-democracy activities, unrelated to his marriage case.

    In 2019, a lower Hong Kong court, the Court of First Instance, ruled against marriage equality in a case brought by a woman identified only as MK, who said lack of access to marriage violated her constitutional rights. Said court disagreed, but recommended that the government establish a framework for recognition of same-sex relationships.

  • 70. VIRick  |  September 5, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Bulgaria Ordered by ECHR to Offer Civil Unions to Same-Sex Couples

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 5 September 2023, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Bulgaria violated the rights of same-sex couples by not offering a way to register their relationships, and ordered the government to offer some kind of civil union. Bulgaria has been recalcitrant about recognizing same-sex couples, going so far as to ignore European Court of Justice rulings it disagrees with, such as a ruling ordering it to recognize same-sex families of EU citizens, or issue a birth certificate to the child of a lesbian couple.

    This is the most direct ruling so far ordering Bulgaria to recognize same-sex couples, but it remains to be seen how the government will react to it. It is also the latest in a series of cases from the ECHR that have established that European states are required to provide some form of recognition of same-sex couples' relationships.

  • 71. VIRick  |  September 5, 2023 at 6:33 pm

    Bulgaria Violated Rights Of Same-Sex Couple Married Abroad, ECHR Rules

    On 5 September 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said Bulgaria violated the rights of a same-sex couple by not recognizing their marriage abroad, a ruling LGBT rights activists said would help seal a legal vacuum in the country, one that doesn't allow same-sex marriage and that does not recognize same-sex couples married abroad.

    "It is clear to the Court that to date the Bulgarian authorities have taken no steps to have adequate legal regulations adopted with regard to the recognition of unions between persons of the same sex," the court wrote in its decision, noting the vote was unanimous among the seven presiding judges. The ECHR's ruling does not oblige Bulgaria to legalize same-sex marriage but says that the authorities must provide a legal framework ensuring that same-sex couples have protection.

    Darina Koilova and Lili Babulkova, Bulgarian nationals married in 2016 in the United Kingdom, wanted their marital status to be recognized in Bulgaria, where they now live. The municipality of Sofia refused to acknowledge their status as "married" in the civil records, sparking the case in local courts, which ruled against them. In 2020, Koilova and Babulkova then filed the current complaint against Bulgaria at the ECHR, claiming that their inability to obtain any form of legal recognition for their relationship constitutes discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

    In the case of Koilova and Babulkova, the ECHR's ruling said Bulgaria violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to respect for private and family life. The decision also says that the absence of any official recognition means that same-sex couples in Bulgaria cannot regulate essential aspects of their lives, such as those related to property, inheritance, and protection from domestic violence.

  • 72. Randolph_Finder  |  September 5, 2023 at 9:30 pm

    Have any countries jumped directly from no official recognition of Same Sex couples to Marriage Equality?

  • 73. VIRick  |  September 5, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    Nations that Jumped from No Official Recognition to Marriage Equality

    Cuba. This is the clearest example, as the proposed 2007 Civil Union bill was never approved by the National Assembly. However, in order to usher in marriage equality, Cuba needed a new Constitution, approved by referendum in February 2019, and a new Family Code, one that simultaneously allows for both civil unions and marriage without discrimination, approved by referendum in September 2022.

    South Africa. Everything was accomplished because of the courts. On 1 December 2005, the Constitutional Court extended the common-law definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, and gave the Parliament one year to rectify the inequality. Thus, the marriage equality law came into force on 30 November 2006, exactly one day before the court-imposed deadline.

    Colombia. Everything was accomplished through the courts, all the way to marriage equality. There has never been any civil union or partnership legislation. Furthermore, Congress ignored the court-ordered 2-year deadline to approve marriage equality. Government agencies only began recognizing same-sex marriages performed abroad (March 2016) a month before the Constitutional Court issued its marriage equality ruling (April 2016), following a long series of additional court rulings leading up to it.

    Mexico. Given that this is a federal republic, the answer is complicated, but suffice it to state that only 8 of Mexico's 32 jurisdictions have ever approved of same-sex civil unions or partnership recognition. The remaining 24 all jumped (or were pushed) directly to marriage equality, although many seemed to take forever to leap, with lots of noise, bluster, and chaos during the 8-year process after the Supreme Court ruling.

    Canada. Given that only 4 provinces had civil unions/domestic partnerships available for same-sex couples prior to the enactment of the federal marriage equality law of July 2005, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and Northwest Territories all went directly from no recognition to marriage equality (with most doing so ahead of the federal legislation. Only Saskatchewan and Yukon waited).

    India. Likely, assuming the Supreme Court rules favorably.

  • 74. ianbirmingham  |  September 5, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    Iowa Mayor Blocks LGBTQ+ Group From Labor Day Parade, Citing ‘Safety’ Concerns

    The mayor of a small Iowa town unilaterally decided to exclude an LGBTQ+ group from participating in the community’s Labor Day parade.

    A drag performer who anticipated riding in a convertible as part of the group said they received notice of the decision via email.

    Shenandoah Pride planned to have a small group walking with a banner and a drag performer riding in a convertible, handing out candy, popsicles, and stickers. The parade was part of a four-day festival in Essex, a municipality of about 720 inhabitants.

    Essex Mayor Calvin Kinney unilaterally decided without seeking City Council consent.

    Council Member Heather Thornton, who disagreed with the action, said, “It was the mayor himself,” and added that he believed he had sufficient authority to proceed without council approval.

    Thornton, who serves on the club board that invited the pride group to attend, said the groups that organized the event “fully supported their efforts and are just as upset as everyone else that they were excluded.”

    A letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa to the Essex mayor and to city attorney Mahlon Sorensen condemned the decision to exclude Shenandoah Pride.

    The ACLU cited a Thursday email from the mayor in which he wrote, “Out of concern for the safety of the public and that of Essex Labor Day parade participants, the City of Essex has determined not to allow parade participants geared toward the promotion of, or opposition to, the politically charged topic of gender and/or sexual identification/orientation,” the ACLU said.

  • 75. ianbirmingham  |  September 5, 2023 at 11:12 pm

    So-called 'Proud Boy' begs judge for mercy, then gets 22 years in prison

    The judge ruled Tarrio's crimes intended to coerce the conduct of government when his lieutenants brought down a barrier between police and rioters, and thus qualified him for terrorism enhancement for his sentencing.

  • 76. VIRick  |  September 6, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    Georgia: Injunction Blocking Ban on Gender-Affirming Healthcare for Trans Youth Lifted

    On 5 September 2023, a federal judge ruled that Georgia can again enforce its ban on hormone therapy for transgender minors. US District Judge Sarah Geraghty had issued a temporary injunction in August blocking enforcement of the ban while the lawsuit against it proceeds, as she found that the parties who sued were likely to succeed in proving that it violated the constitutional right to equal protection of the laws. But she put that injunction on hold due to a ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals lifting the injunction on Alabama’s ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth.

    Since Georgia is in the same circuit, she was required to follow this lead, she said. “It is undisputed that this Court’s preliminary injunction order rests on legal grounds that have been squarely rejected by the panel in the Alabama case, 'Eknes-Tucker v. Alabama,' and that this Court’s injunction cannot stand on the bases articulated in the order,” Geraghty wrote. She added, “'Eknes-Tucker' is binding precedent right now.”

    Geraghty and the 11th Circuit Court panel had different opinions as to the legal standard to which such laws should be held. The panel did not think that the plaintiffs in the Alabama case would succeed under the standard it applied. The full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals may rehear the matter.

  • 77. VIRick  |  September 7, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    Mexico: Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion Nationwide at Federal Level

    On 6 September 2023, the full 11-member chamber of Mexico’s Supreme Court threw out all federal criminal penalties for abortion, ruling that national laws prohibiting the procedure were unconstitutional and violate women’s rights. The court struck down the federal penal code that criminalized abortion, deeming it “unconstitutional” and making abortion legally accessible in all federal health institutions across the country. It also ruled against bans on medical providers, including midwives, who perform the procedure.

    The Mexican Supreme Court first ruled that criminalizing abortion was unconstitutional in 2021, but that ruling applied only to the northern state of Coahuila, abutting Texas. Eleven other Mexican states have already eliminated criminal penalties for the procedure, with Aguascalientes becoming the 12th to do so last week.

    This latest ruling has no effect on state laws, and abortion remains illegal in 20 of the 32 states. But even in those states, women can now legally seek abortion in federal hospitals and clinics. The ruling also prohibits employees at these facilities from being penalized for carrying out abortions.

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On the same date, in a separate case, the Second Chamber of Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that the Social Security (IMSS) law that had limited a widow’s pension benefit to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional discrimination.

    The unanimous ruling is here:

  • 78. ianbirmingham  |  September 10, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    According to the Mexico City based 'Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice', 9 of the world's top 10 cities for homicidal violence – and 100% of the world's top 7 – are all located within Mexico.

  • 79. VIRick  |  September 8, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    Latvia: New Pro-Same-Sex Civil Unions Progressive-Led Coalition to Take Power

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Public Broadcasting of Latvia, dated 5 September 2023:

    A Civil Union bill in Latvia to include same-sex couples appears to be back on the agenda, as a new Progressives coalition is poised to take power in the Saiema (Parliament) following the resignation in August of the previous prime minister. In May, the Saiema had elected the country’s first openly gay President, but then shortly after, it rejected a Civil Union bill when it refused to carry the bill over from the 13th Saeima to the 14th Saiema.

    Same-sex couples have been able to register their unions ever since a 2022 court ruling authorized such. But without legislation, it has been unclear what rights these couples actually have. The parties involved in the new coalition talks say that there is support for closing this legislative gap as a matter of human rights. The same parties are also talking about ratifying the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence as soon as possible.

    In the coalition which is in the process of being formed by New Unity, the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), and Progressives, there is a willingness to work on a new Law on Cohabitation for same-sex couples, according to Progressives leader Kaspars Briškens.

    Pushing for a same-sex partnership law has been a central plank of the Progressives' political program, which states: "We will promote the adoption and full application of the norms of the Civil Union Law, as well as stand up for marriage equality."

  • 80. VIRick  |  September 9, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    This Website, "Equality on Trial," May Soon Be Coming to an End

    On Friday morning, 8 September 2023, as I have done several times in the past, I sent Scotty this message on Facebook:

    Hello Scotty! EoT can again use another new thread. Thanks, Rick

    This evening, 9 September, Scotty responded:

    Hi Rick. Unfortunately, I am not there anymore. This was not my decision. And I don’t know what they plan to do with the site going forward. I am actually locked out, so I can’t do anything with it at all. Sorry. This all happened suddenly with no warning.

    I replied back to Scotty:

    Who are "they?" Who can we contact, or does this mean that EoT has come to an end? You are the only person who ever responded to me whenever I encountered a problem.

    I am now awaiting a further reply from Scotty.

    In the meantime, I suppose we can continue to make new posts here on this current thread, as well as on any of the older threads, as the EoT website seems otherwise to be working correctly, even if no one is at the helm. As best as I can determine, Scotty was the only person with the authority to create new threads, as well as to monitor what was being posted by the site's various registered users.

    This current thread will soon become unwieldy, which is why I asked Scotty to start a new one, to avert that from happening. But apparently, such is not to be.

    For now, as best as I can manage, I will attempt to continue to post here at EoT, as well as in my archives (for which one also needs to be a registered user in order to gain access). Said archives are here, under the title, "Sex and the Law:"

  • 81. scream4ever  |  September 10, 2023 at 8:19 am

    I would hate it if this site were to go away 🙁

  • 82. ianbirmingham  |  September 10, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    The site outsources commenting to IntenseDebate, so there are actually no registered users of EoT. We are instead registered users of IntenseDebate.

    Courage Campaign owns this website:

    Equality on Trial (EOT formerly Prop 8 Trial Tracker) is a project of Courage California Institute, originally established to cover the Perry v. Brown trial 2009, in which Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier sued the state for anti-gay discrimination. Prop 8 Trial Tracker covered the trial live from the courthouse, collected all of the latest motions and court rulings on one site, and documented and responded to right-wing attacks on the process. Re-branded as Equality on Trial, the site now covers legal issues pertaining to the LGBT community, including state and federal marriage equality cases, challenges to the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act, and more.

    Courage California Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is an educational affiliate of Courage California. Our mission is to defend and extend economic justice, human rights, and corporate and political accountability through public education, strategic research, and innovative leadership-development training.

    For inquiries related to Courage California Institute, which sponsors and funds Equality on Trial, contact Irene Kao, Executive Director, at [email protected]. For inquiries related to Equality on Trial content, contact Scottie Thomaston via [email protected]. You can also follow us on Twitter and tweet at us via @equalityontrial as well as on Facebook via Testimony: Equality on Trial.

  • 83. VIRick  |  September 11, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    Scotty's reply of 11 September 2023:

    I think there’s an [email protected] email. If not, I would try to see if there’s another link or email on their main Courage California site. I’m really sorry about all of this. If they’d given me some sort of warning, I could have figured out a way to make sure our readers are informed and taken care of.

    And my reply back to Scotty:

    Thank you, Scotty. I am in the process of posting the info of what appears to be the imminent demise of EoT directly as posts on the most current thread at the EoT website. Technically, the site is presently functioning, but without anyone at its helm with the authority to create new threads or to monitor what users post. The first technical glitch, like no one being able to create new threads, will strangle it.

  • 84. VIRick  |  September 11, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    Andorra: Prime Minister Comes Out as Gay

    The Prime Minister of Andorra, Xavier Espot Zamora, has come out as gay. “I’m gay. I have never hidden it,” he said during an interview on 11 September 2023 with Radio and Television of Andorra, the country’s public broadcaster. “Now, if I am not asked, I do not have to say it, in the sense that it does not define the entirety of who I am and even less my personal politics. But at the same time, I think it shouldn’t be a problem to express it."

    Espot has been Prime Minister since 2019. In 2022, lawmakers in Andorra extended marriage rights to include same-sex couples.

    The prime minister is one of a handful of heads of state/government who are openly gay or lesbian. The most recent, the President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took office in July 2023. On the other hand, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has been in office since 2013, while the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, took office in 2017. The current Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, has served twice in that same position.

    In addition, the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Petra De Sutter, is a transgender woman. In 2009, then-Prime Minister of Iceland, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, became the world’s first openly LGBTQ head of government.

  • 85. VIRick  |  September 12, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    Querétaro/Yucatán: Bans on "Conversion Therapy" Now in Force in Both States

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Mexico, from 11 September 2023, "conversion therapy" has officially become illegal in the states of Querétaro and Yucatán, after both states finally published laws to that effect in their official gazettes. The Congress of Querétaro passed its ban in June 2023, but the ban in Yucatán was passed back in August 2021, and was effectively blocked by the governor, Mauricio Vila Dosal (PAN), until activists began a pressure campaign, and then last week, filed a lawsuit. A nationwide ban awaits a final vote in the federal Congress.

    Activists are also calling for the state congress of Veracruz to “unfreeze” bills to ban "conversion therapy" and to recognize gender identity, and for the state congress of Guanajuato to also “unfreeze” a number of bills relating to codifying marriage equality, recognizing gender identity, banning "conversion therapy," and fighting hate crimes.

  • 86. VIRick  |  September 13, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    Kentucky: Jury Awards $100,000 to Couple Denied Marriage License by Kim Davis

    A federal jury has awarded $100,000 to a Kentucky couple who sued former Rowan County clerk Kim Davis for damages over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis drew international attention when she was jailed in 2015 over her refusal, based on her belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

    On 13 September 2023, a jury in Ashland KY awarded David Ermold and David Moore $50,000 each in damages against Davis personally. A second couple who sued, James Yates and Will Smith, were awarded no damages by US District Judge David Bunning.

    In 2022, Bunning ruled that Davis had violated the constitutional rights of the two couples. In that ruling, Bunning reasoned that Davis “cannot use her own constitutional rights as a shield to violate the constitutional rights of others while performing her duties as an elected official.”

    In 2015, Ermold and Moore had a highly publicized showdown with Davis at the Rowan County clerk's office after they asked her for a marriage license, surrounded by news cameras. When she refused, Moore asked under whose authority was she acting. She replied, “under God's authority.”

  • 87. scream4ever  |  September 14, 2023 at 12:07 am

    I'm honestly amazed we haven't seen more of this post-Obergefell.

  • 88. bayareajohn  |  September 14, 2023 at 10:59 am

    I will miss you all.
    Rick, I hope you continue your considerable efforts in another venue.
    Sorry to see this site closing….

  • 89. scream4ever  |  September 14, 2023 at 12:49 pm

    May I suggest JoeMyGod.

  • 90. ianbirmingham  |  September 14, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    We can't post our own articles there. Only Joe can do that.

    Better option here:

  • 91. VIRick  |  September 14, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    American Samoa: Transgender Woman Receives $125,000 in Discrimination Settlement

    A US Justice Department lawsuit against the American Samoa Government (ASG) over allegations that the ASG unfairly treated a former employee because she was transgender has been settled. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate based on sex or gender identity at one’s workplace.

    In a consent decree approved by the court, ASG agreed to pay Simeonica Tuiteleleapaga $125,000 as compensation for the harassment she suffered at the hands of her supervisor during her employment at ASG, a DOJ press release said. In addition, the consent decree mandates that ASG implement comprehensive policies and procedures to address complaints of sex-based discrimination and provide training to its employees, ensuring they are well-equipped to handle such matters with sensitivity and adherence to the law.

  • 92. VIRick  |  September 14, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    California Passes 6 Pro-LGBT Laws and Lifts State Travel Ban

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 13 September 2023, the California state legislature passed 6 LGBT rights bills that it has sent to Governor Newsom for his signature. These include bills that will ban book bans from schools, require teachers to take LGBTQ sensitivity training, require state courts to consider a parent’s acceptance of their child’s gender identity in custody hearings, seal records of gender changes made by minors, protect insurance coverage for gender-affirming healthcare, and create a fund to help gender-non-conforming people who have been incarcerated re-enter society.

    The Assembly has also passed a bill that would repeal a five-year-old law that bars the use of state funds for travel to 26 states that have passed anti-LGBTQ laws. California lawmakers now believe that said law has created challenges for the state to deliver programs that involve these states. Instead, they propose to spend money advertising for LGBTQ acceptance in these states. It awaits a vote in the state Senate.

    On 14 September, California officially repealed its government travel ban to anti-LGBTQ states when the state Senate approved the measure, already passed by the Assembly.

  • 93. ianbirmingham  |  September 16, 2023 at 5:04 pm is open for all who wish to freely post and comment on articles. Similar to EoT. 100% free and anonymous.

  • 94. VIRick  |  September 18, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Mexico: HIV and State Marriage Laws

    When Alejandro Romero Cigarroa and Emmanuel Romero Cázares arrived at the Puebla civil registry office for their planned wedding on 28 April 2022, the local judge told them it would be impossible for them to marry. Her reason: the civil code of the state of Puebla forbade anyone from marrying if they carried a hereditary or contagious disease. Both are HIV-positive, as indicated on mandatory health forms they submitted to the register.

    At the time, in addition to Puebla, nine other states across Mexico (of 32) still had laws barring people living with HIV from getting married: Chiapas, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, and Sinaloa. In several other states, people with HIV can only marry if their partner signs a document swearing that they are aware of their partner’s sero-status

    Almost immediately, the couple in Puebla filed suit in federal court seeking an order to allow them to marry. By the end of the day, they had also been in contact with a friend who publishes a local news magazine, who reported on their story. Soon, they were making headlines in national newspapers and were the object of a national debate about the rights of people living with HIV. .

    Months later, a federal court ruled that denying them access to marriage was unconstitutional, and ordered the Puebla court to marry them. As of September 2023, the couple are awaiting a decision seeking damages for the costs they incurred for the cancelled wedding, plus additional damages for their loss of dignity and the discrimination and threats they’ve suffered as a result of their story becoming national news. They have decided to wait to get married until after a final decision is made regarding costs.

    In the meantime, in July 2023, the Puebla state congress amended its marriage laws, clarifying that people with an infectious disease may marry as long as their partner says in writing that they are aware of it.

  • 95. Deeelaaach  |  September 25, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for the links, and to Ianbirmingham also for his.

    Is LGBT Marriage News available elsewhere besides Twitter/X? I have never had a twitter account. I've tried some google searches, but have not been certain of the links in question.


    It's sad to see this site go. I've been visiting it every week, and often every day, since the Prop 8 trial. I'm not sure where I'm going to go next. Yet.

  • 96. VIRick  |  September 21, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    Romania Inches toward Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages for Residency

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Romanian government has introduced a draft bill to recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other EU member states for the purpose of granting residency rights to said couples. The bill comes five years after the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in June 2018 that such was the minimum obligation of all EU member states, with Romania being the last holdout refusing to implement the ruling.

    In May 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) then found that Romania was violating the European Convention on Human Rights by refusing legal recognition of same-sex couples. Still, this draft bill does not go that far with its limited recognition, so even if passed, Romania will remain far behind.

  • 97. VIRick  |  September 22, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    Puebla: SCJN to Decide if Mexico Can Allow "Poliamor" Marriages of 3 or More Persons

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Supreme Court of Mexico has taken up a case seeking to require states to allow marriages of 3 or more people. The individuals were already victorious in lower courts, but the state of Puebla appealed the ruling against it. The SCJN must now resolve the issue.

    Per "Infobae:"

    Amor de tres: la Corte decidirá si puede haber matrimonios de más de dos en México

    La Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia (SCJN) deberá resolver en definitiva si es posible incluir a más de dos personas en un enlace matrimonial o concubinato, luego que un juez de Puebla declaró inconstitucional el Código Civil de ese estado por prohibir esta forma de “poliamor.”

    Threeway love: the Court will decide if there can be marriages of more than two in Mexico

    The First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) must resolve definitively whether it is possible to include more than two persons in a marriage or de facto union, after a judge in Puebla declared the Civil Code of that state unconstitutional for prohibiting this form of “polyamory.”

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