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38 minutes ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread 7/16 · 0 replies · +1 points

Cuba: Petition to National Assembly for Marriage Equality

Javier Enrique Pérez Orosa started this petition to the Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular:

Con motivo de la Reforma Constitucional en Cuba y las comisiones de trabajo creadas al respecto, se hace necesario impulsar la visibilización del colectivo LGBTIQ dentro de la sociedad cubana y sus necesidades. Además de ser el momento propicio para adaptar y actualizar la legislación de la isla a los tiempos q corren, amparados siempre en el principio de considerar los derechos sexuales como derechos humanos. No podemos permitir que se sesguen derechos a las personas o que sean discriminadas por orientación sexual o identidad de género. Es momento de cambio!

On the occasion of the Constitutional Reform in Cuba and the work commissions created in this regard, it is necessary to promote the visibility of the LGBTIQ collective within Cuban society, as well as its needs. In addition, it is the propitious moment to adapt and update the legislation of the island to current times, always protected by the principle of considering sexual rights as human rights. We can not allow people to be biased against others or to be discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is time for change!

The link will take you to the petition:

3 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread 7/16 · 0 replies · +1 points

CIDH Authority and the 20 Nations Which Agreed to its Jurisdiction

To answer these questions, posed in the previous thread:

"So the CIDH is reminding states they have to abide by its rulings?"

Yes, and we can expect that the CIDH will continue to remind Member States that they must abide by all of its decisions at every future opportunity. They just clarified that all decisions, whether they be the result of contentious jurisdiction obtaining specific sentences or whether they be the result of non-contentious advisory jurisdiction obtaining advisory opinions, all 20 Member States must abide by both types of decisions because they all agreed beforehand, when they first signed the agreement, that they would do so.

Even among some individuals who should otherwise know better, there has been an on-going mis-understanding that only those decisions resulting in specific sentences are binding on the specific party in question. No. The CIDH has re-iterated that all decisions are binding, and that all decisions are binding on all 20 nations, whether they were a direct party to the case or not.

"Will this translate into concrete actions which are long overdue such as in Ecuador?"

Again, it is up to the Member States to take whatever action is necessary to bring their own respective nation into compliance with all CIDH rulings. The CIDH itself has no enforcement mechanism to force anyone to do anything, other that the original agreement, freely signed by all 20 Member States, in which each agreed that they would abide by its rulings.

Under the circumstances, the best everyone can do is to constantly remind everyone else that these 20 nations committed themselves to abide by all CIDH rulings, and that they are under legal obligation to do so. Just like the CIDH itself is doing, we need to hammer this message home, over and over, repeatedly. Legal scholars already understand. So do an assortment of more progressive political figures. However, the message has not yet reached the average general public, the typical politician, or the run-of-the-mill judge.

So, there will be resistance, coupled with large doses of ignorance. However, no one held a gun to the head of officials in a nation like Paraguay or Haiti to force them to sign the CIDH accord. They did it on their own, whether they fully understood what they were committing themselves to do in the future or not.

3 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread 7/16 · 0 replies · +2 points

Puerto Rico: Trans people Can Now Correct Gender Marker on Birth Certificates

Per Pedro Julio Serrano:

Desde hoy, el 16 de julio 2018, las personas trans podrán cambiar su certificado de nacimiento para que tengan su género correcto.

From today, 16 July 2018, trans people will be able to change their birth certificate to reflect their correct gender.

Las personas transgénero podrán modificar sus certificados de nacimiento. El Registro Demográfico emitió la carta circular que entró en efecto hoy, el 16 de julio 2018.

Transgender people can modify their birth certificates. The Demographic Registry issued the circular letter that went into effect today, 16 July 2018.

23 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Open SCOTUS thread BRE... · 0 replies · +2 points

Further Comment on CIDH Advisory Opinion to Ecuador Regarding Asylum Rights

Although at first glance the CIDH's latest advisory opinion might appear to be somewhat off-topic, it definitely is not, as it contains an important universal "clarification" concerning all of its rulings, whether termed "advisory opinion" or "sentence," a clarification, however, which was written in such obscure Spanish that it required me to do a translation of the translation. However, that clarification is very much on-topic. Here's why:

Even here in this thread, higher up, we see that advocates in Honduras, half-expecting a negative ruling from their highest court, are assuming that such a negative ruling would be required before they can file a case against Honduras under the "contentious jurisdiction" heading. And that part is true.

However, in effect, the CIDH is pre-emptively over-riding any such eventuality by stating that the Honduras court (or any other court from any of the 20 nations which signed the accord) can no longer issue a negative ruling against marriage equality because the previously-issued CIDH advisory opinion is binding upon the Honduras court (and all courts in all the other 19 nations). "This obligation includes not only the Executive, but also the Legislative and the Judicial." The matter is settled.

Now, as an aside. Ecuador already has a fairly liberal, progressive asylum law on the books, and over the last number of years, for instance, has accepted hundreds of Cuban asylum seekers. However, an assortment of other Latin nations do not have the same progressive legal viewpoint on asylum. Ecuador and the CIDH have now just caused those less progressive nations to be forced to re-examine, up-date, and up-grade their asylum laws, including making specific provision for LGBT asylum seekers.

One can also read this "advisory opinion" ruling issued at Ecuador's request as a direct slap against the USA and its on-going immigration/asylum nightmare being perpetrated along the Mexico-USA border. That aspect was never mentioned in the ruling itself, but the timing is such that one can definitely read that message into it. I am relatively certain that that was also part of Ecuador's intent, and assume that it will be taken as such within the more progressive quarters of Latin America itself.

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Open SCOTUS thread BRE... · 1 reply · +6 points

Cuba's New Draft Constitution

Per LGBT Marriage News:

As of 15 July 2018, Cuba's new constitution is expected to be approved by a vote of the national assembly next week, one which will officially recognise private property for the first time in decades, among many far-reaching changes, state media say. Property sales were banned after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, but permitted after a law change in 2011. The communist-run state's new constitution will reaffirm that central planning and state enterprise are key to the economy.

After being approved by a vote of the national assembly, the draft constitution would then be put to a popular referendum for final approval later this year. If passed, it will replace the existing constitution which was approved by the Communist Party in 1976.

But under the proposed reforms, the party will remain as Cuba's dominant political force, the Granma newspaper reports. Presidents, however, will be limited to serving two consecutive five-year terms and political power will be divided between the president and a prime minister. It will ban discrimination based on gender, ethnic origin, or disability. LGBT groups are hopeful it will also legalize same-sex marriage. The national assembly proposed a number of constitutional reforms last month, including presidential term limits and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Open SCOTUS thread BRE... · 1 reply · +5 points

Inter-American Court (CIDH) Reiterates that Member States Must Implement Marriage Equality, Trans Rights Advisory Opinions

Per LGBT Marriage News:

CIDH Reitera Deber de los Estados de Acatar lo que Diga en sus Opiniones Consultivas

La Corte Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos (CIDH) reiteró que los Estados firmantes de la Convención Americana deben acatar lo que disponga, no solo en sus sentencias, sino también en las opiniones consultivas. El máximo tribunal de la región en materia de derechos humanos hizo ese señalamiento al promulgar, este jueves, 12 de juio 2018, una opinión consultiva solicitada por Ecuador respecto al asilo.

“Es necesario que los diversos órganos del Estado realicen el correspondiente control de convencionalidad, también sobre la base de lo que señale en ejercicio de su competencia no contenciosa o consultiva, la que innegablemente comparte con su competencia contenciosa, el propósito del sistema interamericano de derechos humanos, cual es, la protección de los derechos fundamentales de los seres humanos,“ dice el texto.

La Corte recordó que según el derecho internacional, un Estado que haya firmado la Convención Americana queda obligado a cumplir y respetar lo que allí se establece. Esa obligación incluye no solo al poder Ejecutivo, sino también al Legislativo y el Judicial. “La violación por parte de alguno de dichos órganos genera responsabilidad internacional para aquél (Estado).”

IACHR Reiterates Duty of the States to Accept What They Say in their Advisory Opinions

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) reiterated that the signatory States of the American Convention must abide by its provisions, not only in their sentences, but also in their advisory opinions. The highest court in the region in the field of human rights made that signal by promulgating, this Thursday, 12 July 2018, an advisory opinion requested by Ecuador regarding asylum.

"It is necessary that the various organs of the State carry out the corresponding control of conventionality, also on the basis of what it indicates in the exercise of its non-contentious or advisory jurisdiction, which it undeniably shares with its contentious jurisdiction, the purpose of the inter-American system of human rights, which is, the protection of the fundamental rights of human beings," the text says.

The Court recalled that under international law, a State that has signed the American Convention is obliged to comply with and respect what is established therein. This obligation includes not only the Executive, but also the Legislative and the Judicial. "The violation by one of these bodies generates international responsibility for that (State)."

Translation of translation:

Non-contentious or advisory jurisdiction (resulting in advisory opinions) occurs whenever a member state requests an opinion from the CIDH (like what Costa Rica did regarding marriage equality/transgender rights, or what Ecuador just did regarding asylum rights).

Contentious jurisdiction (resulting in sentences) occurs whenever an individual party sues a member state over a specific violation (like what Karen Atala Riffo did with Chile or what the transgender women of Bolivia are in the process of doing with Bolivia, both over marriage rights).

In both instances, whether non-contentious or contentious, since all 20 nations have signed the CIDH accord agreeing to abide by its decisions, they must comply. Period. The CIDH is not backing down.

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Open SCOTUS thread BRE... · 0 replies · +4 points

Jersey: First Couple to Convert Civil Partnership to Marriage

Per LGBT Marriage News:

Gary and Alan Burgess held their wedding ceremony in March 2018, but they could not be officially "married," as the same-sex marriage law had not yet come into effect. However, as of 14 July 2018, it is now official, as they signed the papers converting their civil partnership to marriage.

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Open SCOTUS thread BRE... · 0 replies · +4 points

Pennsylvania: Judge Rules Against Discriminatory Practice of Catholic Social Services

Per Equality Case Files:

On 13 July 2018, in "Fulton v. City of Philadelphia," the federal case in which Catholic Social Services and individuals are suing the city over its decision to suspend its contract with CSS because said agency refuses to place children with same-sex couples, Judge Tucker has denied the Plaintiffs' motion for both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.

• Order is here:
• Opinion is here:

ACLU's statement on the decision is here:

The Plaintiffs have already given notice that they are appealing the decision. Their Notice of Appeal, dated on the same date as the decision, 13 July 2018, is here:
At the same time, they are further asking for an injunction while they appeal. The Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal, dated 14 July 2018, is here:

2 days ago @ Equality on Trial - Open SCOTUS thread BRE... · 0 replies · +3 points

Argentina: 8th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

Per Diversidad Santa Fe:‏

Desde la Subsecretaria de Políticas de Diversidad Sexual (de Santa Fe), celebramos los 8 años de matrimonio igualitario.

From the (Santa Fe) Undersecretary of Sexual Diversity Policy, we celebrate 8 years of marriage equality.

Per José María Costa:

Mañana, el 15 de julio 2028, se cumple 8 años de la sanción de la ley de matrimonio igualitario en la Argentina. En este tiempo, fueron más de 18 mil las parejas del mismo sexo que accedieron a un derecho que tenían vedado (previamente).

Tomorrow, 15 July 2018, marks the 8th anniversary of the enactment of the marriage equality law in Argentina. Up to this time, there have been more than 18,000 same-sex couples who have agreed to a right that was (previously) forbidden.

Actually, these 18,000 plus couples are from all over Latin America, not just from Argentina, partly because Argentina was the first to enact such a nationwide law, but also because Argentine marriage law itself is not restrictive. There are no minimum residency nor any specific citizenship requirements to being married in Argentina. Thus, couples have come from as far north as Venezuela and Cuba in order to be married there, while hundreds of others have come across from Chile, Bolivia, Perú, and Paraguay.

2 days ago @ Equality on Trial - Open SCOTUS thread BRE... · 0 replies · +6 points

Scottish Leader to Preside at Pride Parade Rather than Meet Trump

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the head of Scotland’s government, will not meet with Trump during his visit to the country. Instead, she’ll be marching in Glasgow’s Pride Parade as Grand Marshall. She will be the first serving prime minister or first minister in the UK to ever march in a pride parade (and scores many bonus points for doing so while officially snubbing Trump in the process).

Trump, meanwhile, having already fled the gaggle of protesting drag queens and the giant "Baby Trump" blimp balloon in London, is expected to head straight to his golf club so he can play a few holes, and try to destroy the world one tweet at a time.