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26 minutes ago @ Equality on Trial - 1/18 SCOTUS watch: sti... · 0 replies · +2 points

Kenya: Constitutional Court to Issue Ruling on Sodomy Law on 22 February 2019

Per LGBT Marriage News:

On 22 February 2019, a three-judge bench of the Constitutional Court in Nairobi will give Kenyans their decision on whether laws that criminalize the private, consensual relations of people of the same sex are to be scrapped.

The case, heard in February 2018, was brought by Eric Gitari, until recently the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a local rights organization that provides free legal aid services to Kenya’s persecuted LGBT+ community.

4 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +3 points

Bangladesh: First Transgender Member of Parliament Likely

Bangladesh may be set to get its first transgender MP, following the national elections last year. The ruling Awami League (AL) is considering a transgender candidate for one of Parliament’s 50 seats reserved for women, according to local media. Eight transgender women have filed their nominations with the party, the "The Dhaka Tribune" reported.

From my understanding, Bangladesh/West Bengal in India is "ground zero" for the very traditional concept of "hijra" (transgender women) within the entire Indian sub-continent, as that word, "hijra," from the Bengali language, has been borrowed and adapted by everyone else.

5 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +3 points

Trevor Project Sends Gay Bunny Books to Karen Pence’s Anti-LGBT School

The Trevor Project welcomed Karen Pence to her new position as art teacher at the Immaculate Christian School in Springfield VA, a so-called "christian" school which explicitly bans LGBT students, teachers, staff, and parents, by donating 100 copies of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.”

The book is a spoof of Pence’s book “Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President,” which she co-created with her daughter Charlotte. The story follows the Pences’ bunny Marlon around the White House.

John Oliver’s parody book “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller, features Marlon as a gay bunny who falls in love and gets married to another male bunny, Wesley.

Note: The divorced Karen Pence, now the wife of the Vice-President, is currently working on her second marriage.

5 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +3 points

Virginia: State Senate Passes Two LGBT Non-Discrimination Bills

On Friday, 18 January 2019, the Virginia Senate passed two pieces of legislation that would ban discrimination in housing and public employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Both bills passed with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 1109, which would protect LGBT Virginians from discrimination in housing, passed 33-7. Senate Bill 998, which would protect LGBT Virginians from discrimination in public employment, went through with a 28-12 vote.

5 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +3 points

ECHR Rules in Favor of a Macedonian Trans Man on Legal Gender Recognition

Per ILGA-Europe:

Today, 17 January 2019, in a new judgment, the ECHR decided in favor of a Macedonian trans man applicant and found there to be a violation of the right to respect for private and family life due to the absence of a legislative framework for legal gender recognition.

Although the applicant X had gender reassignment surgeries abroad, the Ministry of Justice in Macedonia rejected his applications to alter the gender marker in the birth register. Macedonia only allows for a name change procedure for their trans citizens. Legal gender recognition is not possible due to the absence of a legislative framework and an effective remedy.

“This judgment represents another signal from the Court that States should review their procedures on legal gender recognition with a view to simplifying them and removing abusive requirements in line with international standards,” commented Constantin Cojocariu, a co-representative of the applicant. The applicant’s other co-representative Natasa Boskova also added, “Considering the ongoing process of drafting an amendment to the Civil Registry Law regarding the legal gender recognition process, we hope this judgment will accelerate the process of the new law in Macedonia."

20 hours ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +5 points

El Salvador: One Marriage Equality Case Rejected by Supreme Court

Per Erick Iván Ortiz:

Hoy, 17 de enero 2019, la Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de El Salvador declaró improcedente una de las múltiples demandas que se han interpuesto por la igualdad matrimonial en el país. La Sala aclara que en este caso la improcedencia se debe a elementos de forma de la demanda y no del fondo de lo planteado.

Today, 17 January 2019, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador declared inadmissible one of the multiple demands that have been filed for marriage equality in the country. The Chamber clarifies that in this case the inadmissibility is due to elements of the form of the claim and not from the merits of the proposal.

Per Rex Wockner:

The Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador's Supreme Court of Justice has tossed one of several marriage-equality lawsuits (this one alleged a legislative omission), saying it failed to show how the constitution required legislators to include same-sex couples in the marriage law.

Per Corte Suprema de El Salvador:

(Comunicado) Sala de lo Constitucional declaró improcedente demanda contra el Artículo 11 del Código de Familia, que regula el matrimonio entre hombre y mujer
(Inconstitucionalidad 18-2018).

(Statement) Constitutional Chamber declared inadmissible claim against Article 11 of the Family Code, which regulates marriage between a man and a woman
(Unconstitutionality 18-2018).

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 1 reply · +6 points

True enough, but you know where I live. I could not pass up the opportunity to give it a special mention, especially after encountering this joyous bundle of hate:

On Thursday, 17 January 2019, a Republican congressman yelled at Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas to “go back to Puerto Rico” across the aisle on the House floor.

Steny Hoyer, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, took to the floor later in the day to admonish the Republican. Politico first reported that Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri was responsible for the comment.

Cárdenas, a California lawmaker who is the chair of the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, was born in Los Angeles and is the son of immigrants from Mexico.

Jason Thomas Smith, 38, is the representative from Missouri's 8th District, comprising 30 counties in southeastern and south central Missouri. He was born in Salem, Dent County, Missouri, a town with less than 5,000 people in the heart of the Ozarks. It has 178 homes for sale and 66 resident registered sex offenders.

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +7 points

North Carolina: Lambda Legal Files Federal Suit against SSA for Widower Seeking Spousal Survivor Benefits

Per Equality Case Files:

Today, 17 January 2019, Lambda Legal filed a motion on behalf of a 75-year-old gay man arguing that the Social Security Administration’s denial of spousal survivor’s benefits to him, on the grounds that he was not married for long enough (they impose a 9-month minimum), despite discriminatory marriage laws that prevented him from marrying earlier, is unconstitutional.

Even though the bans have been struck down and same-sex couples today are able to marry nationwide, the harms endure. Fred Colosimo and his husband, Harvey Lucas, in a committed 43-year relationship, traveled from North Carolina to New Jersey in November 2013 to be married, just two weeks after that state’s ban had been struck down, because North Carolina would not let them marry. Sadly, Harvey died in June 2014, seven months later.

This federal lawsuit is the fourth Lambda Legal has joined against Social Security in the past five months, including lawsuits filed in Washington State, Arizona, and New Mexico.

The North Carolina case, "Colosimo v. Berryhill," is here:

The Motion for Summary Judgment is here:

The Washington State case, "Thornton v. Berryhill," is here:

Its First Amended Complaint, filed on 12 November 2018, is here:
The original complaint was filed in September.

The Arizona case, "Ely v. Berryhill," is here:

Its Complaint, filed on 20 November 2018, is here:

The New Mexico case, "Gonzales v. Berryhill," is here:

Plaintiff's Motion to Reverse Agency Decision, filed 13 December 2018, is here:

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +6 points

Québec Sued for Discriminating against Trans Individuals

Québec Poursuivi pour Discrimination envers les Personnes Trans

Per LGBT Marriage News and Samuel Singer:

Le procès intenté par le Centre de Lutte contre l’Oppression des Genres contre le Gouvernement du Québec commencera le 7 janvier 2019, soit quatre ans après le dépôt de la poursuite visant à faire invalider des articles injustes du Code Civil envers les personnes trans et non-binaires.

Des parents qui ne peuvent pas modifier la filiation "père" ou "mère," des non-citoyens qui ne peuvent pas changer leur nom et la mention de leur sexe dans des documents officiels , et des jeunes qui ont besoin de l’approbation parentale pour modifier leur identité. Voilà le genre de cas qui a poussé l’organisme à entamer des procédures judiciaires, en Cour Supérieure contre le Gouvernement du Québec, en 2014. Il souhaite invalider pas moins de 11 articles du Code Civil du Québec.

The hearing of the case filed by the Center for Combating Gender Oppression against the Government of Québec will begin on 7 January 2019, being four years after the filing of the lawsuit seeking to invalidate unfair articles of the Civil Code against trans and non-binary individuals.

From parents who can not modify the filiation "father" or "mother," non-citizens who can not change their name nor their sex on official documents, to young people who need parental approval to modify their identity. These are the kinds of instances that prompted the organization to start legal proceedings in the Superior Court against the Government of Québec in 2014. It wishes to invalidate no less than 11 articles of the Civil Code of Québec.

Note: Following a 4-year delay to the hearing of this case, the quoted article then has the unabashed audacity to utilize the French idiom, "Voilà." Voilà, indeed!

1 day ago @ Equality on Trial - Still no action from S... · 0 replies · +8 points

Yokohama, Japan: First Lawsuit to Be Filed Challenging Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Per LGBT Marriage News:

An international same-sex couple applied for a marriage certificate at the municipal government office in Yokohama on 16 January 2019. After their application was denied, the Japanese-German couple will now plan to file a damage suit against the national government.

Ai Nakajima, 40, a company employee who lives in Yokohama, and Kristina Baumann, 32, of Germany, who attends a vocational school, were married in Germany in September 2018, following the registration of their partnership in Berlin in 2016. In Germany, same-sex couples were allowed to marry beginning from 2017.

The couple submitted their marriage certificate, which was issued in Germany, at the Yokohama city office counter. Their documents are in the possession of the city and will be reviewed. But the couple is unlikely to be recognized as a married pair under the law.

Nakajima and Baumann believe that the prohibition of same-sex marriages violates the nation's Constitution. They are expected to file a lawsuit against the central government in mid-February, along with more than 10 other same-sex couples.

If Nakajima and Baumann want to be listed as a married couple in the Japanese ancestral register, they need to report their marriage to a city office or consular office (as was done). However, marriage notifications of same-sex couples cannot be accepted, as it is assumed in the Civil Law that the married pair are of the opposite sex. Baumann resides in Japan on a student visa and, as a result, is in a precarious position without a spousal visa.

Lawsuits are also expected to be filed at four other district courts in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Sapporo. The plaintiffs argue that same-sex couples are prohibited from getting married, which violates constitutional stipulations, such as equality under the law, and infringes on freedom of marriage.