Australia: The country’s High Court has ruled that individuals may be granted non-specific gender status. full story
China: A transgender woman in China has been trapped in bureaucratic hell after having her passport taken away because she doesn’t match its male identity. full story
Ethiopia: A huge anti-gay rally is planned to raise awareness of the threat of homosexuality. full story
Peru: 10K people have signed a signature in support of a proposed civil unions bill/ full story
UK: A UKIP politician has left the party over its opposition to marriage equality. full story
UK: An LGBT rights group says it’s unacceptable that gay and lesbian couples already in civil partnerships must wait until the end of the year to convert their partnerships to marriages. full story
USA: Jonathan Capehart says helping gays to marry would help the black family at large, too. full story
USA: Companies are starting to boycott Mozilla after it hired an anti-gay CEO. full story
USA: Several US states with bans on marriage equality will nevertheless allow married same sex couples to file their taxes jointly – including Colorado, Missouri, and Oregon. HRC has a great summary of tax policies for each state. full story
USA: Mozilla’s new CEO Brendan Eich has also contributed to anti gay politicians in the past. full story
USA: The Social Security Administration has updated its policies to allow transgender citizens to receive benefits through their spouses. full story
USA, Florida: The Florida Family Policy Council is seeking to intervene in several lawsuits filed against the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story
USA, Nebraska: A high school senior will be allowed to read his poem on gender identity after the Nebraska School Activities Association backed down. full story
USA, Texas: The winners of the ACLU’s “My Big Gay (Il)Legal Wedding” contest have been chosen – an adorable Texas couple. full story
USA, Washington: A Boy Scouts Scoutmaster has been fired after he came out as gay. full story
The Hindu reports: A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, before whom the matter was mentioned by senior lawyers appearing for different parties, said that it will go through the documents and consider their plea. Curative petition is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances in court and it is normally considered by judges in-chamber without granting opportunity to parties to argue the case.
I’m not sure if anything fundamental has changed here – unless there’s new evidence, it’s the same crew that already upheld the law twice. But we can always hope.
In looking at the rapidly changing terra firma around me, I must offer a confession that I am deeply embarrassed to say, has been far too long in coming. On Feb. 24 a seismic event took place in the City of Detroit, where I have served as a pastor for 16 years. Over 50 of my fellow clergy gathered together at First Baptist World Changers Church to state their unalterable opposition to same-sex marriage and their desire to convince Gov. Snyder and the Michigan legislature to keep the ban on same-sex marriage in our state.
The gathering received local, state and national news. Yet the fervor that caused my fellow clergy to become public advocates against same-sex marriage is the same fervor that certainly serves presently as “first shut up in my bones.”
Their understanding of scripture is the foundation upon which they state their case. My understanding of scripture is the foundation upon which I state my case. They have a belief in what “God’s will” is regarding homosexuality. I also have a belief in what “God’s will” is regarding homosexuality.
The Washington Blade reports:
The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is set to hear oral arguments on April 10 in Denver in the case of Kitchen v. Herbert, the lawsuit that brought marriage equality briefly to the state of Utah, and will hear arguments April 17 in Bishop v. Smith, in which a lower court ruled Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Doug NeJaime, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, said he expects arguments from attorneys on behalf of same-sex couples during these arguments to focus on the impact of the states’ marriage bans on children. “I expect we will see significant attention on the child centered rationales put forward by the state with responses regarding the detrimental impact on children raised by same-sex couples. Children are figuring prominently in these cases,” NeJaime said. “I also expect discussion about how Windsor affects the analysis of state bans on marriage.”
Will one of these cases be the next to reach the US Supreme Court?
The Washington Blade reports:
The Chilean Senate on Tuesday moved to make a bill that would allow transgender people to legally change their name and sex without sex reassignment surgery a top priority. The Organization of Transsexuals for the Dignity of Diversity said senators must release a draft of the measure within 15 days. It will then go before the lower house of the Chilean Congress if there are no objections.
The transgender rights movement seems to be following a similar trajectory as the marriage equality movement. It’s great to see our trans brothers and sisters gaining recognition, even though it can never happen quickly enough.
In what’s likely a first, New Hampshire is considering a constitutional amendment that would actually protect gays from discrimination.
LGBTQ Nation reports:
A House panel is holding a hearing on a proposed amendment to New Hampshire’s constitution that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The measure passed the Senate unanimously and if three-fifths of the House agrees, it would go before voters in November. The constitution currently prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex and national origin. The amendment would add sexual orientation. The state already prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in statute, but supporters want to enshrine the protection in the constitution.
Wow – in the space of ten years we’ve gone from amendments to strip us of constitutional protections in more than 30 states to a state proposing to enshrine protections for the LGBT community in one of these sacred documents. I feel like I’m living through history sometimes.
Edge Boston reports:
A motion filed last week in federal court in one of the cases said they should be consolidated. It said the cases involve the same legal issues and that consolidation would save time and effort. However, a response by attorneys in the case filed first says their case is further along and that the court should defer any decision on consolidation until the first case’s initial motions are done. It also says there are differences in the cases, including that they share only one common defendant.
Is there value in continuing to have two separate cases there, or should the plaintiffs just get over it and allow the suits to be combined?
Gay Marriage is Like Murder
Oregon gubernatorial candidate Lorraine Mae Rafferty (I’ll let you guess her political party) says gay marriage is a sin. You know, just like Murder. She couldn’t have picked the shellfish-on-the-sabbath one to compare it to?
Call the Moral Police – There’s Gays on the Loose
A Russian lawmaker thinks the country needs a new branch of the stste police force – the moral police – to deal with gays, gambling and prostitution. Because, of course, all those things are the same. Would they also deal with crooked politicians?