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April 2013

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30 April 2013

Insurers in Vermont Will Now Cover Gender Reassignment Surgery

UNITED STATES, Vermont: On 22 April 2013, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation issued Insurance Bulletin No 174 making it mandatory for health insurance providers to cover the cost of procedures for transgender people, including, gender-reassignment surgery.
• Insurance Bulletin No. 174: Guidance Regarding Prohibited Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity … 22 APR 13

29 April 2013

West Palm Beach Approves Historic Domestic Partnership Measure

UNITED STATES, Florida : On 29 April 2013, the City approved an ordinance that would provide funds to city employees in domestic partners to compensate them for the federal tax dollars they are forced to pay for health insurance benefits. Final approval is expected in two weeks.

Cook Islands will not follow NZ's gay marriage lead

COOK ISLANDS: On 29 April 2013, Prime Minister Henry Puna was reported to have said that same-sex marriage would not be allowed in the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands are an independent, self-governing nation though retaining New Zealand citizenship.

27 April 2013

DOMA makes it illegal for gay couples to make joint political donations, rules FEC

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 25 April 2013, the Federal Election Commission ruled that gay married couples can't make a single political donation under both spouse's names.
• Advisory Opinion: United States Senate Candidate Dan Winslow AO 2013-02 PDF 43.51kb, 25 APR 13

Same-sex marriage motion vetoed by DUP before debate

NORTHERN IRELAND: On 26 April 2013, the Democratic Unionist Party wielded its veto to effectively block a motion on gay marriage to be debated at Stormont on Monday by lodging a Petition of Concern that requires a weighted majority (60%) of members voting for a motion to pass.

26 April 2013

Philadelphia City Council passes landmark bill for LGBT benefits

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 25 April 2013, Philadelphia City Council passed 14-3 a bill offering tax credit incentives to businesses that allow the families of LGBT employees to enroll for family health benefits and offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to employees. Further revisions provide for non-discriminatory equal treatment for all, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

25 April 2013

Ninth Circuit Court judge: Oregon gay marriage ban is 'unconstitutional'

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 24 April 2013, Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit ruled on a narrow personnel case in which Alison Clark appealed the denial of benefits for her partner, Anna Campbell, under the Federal Employees Health Care Benefits program, finding the denial discriminatory and calling Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional.
• Opinion: In the Matter of Alison Clark Case No. 13-80100 PDF 1.80MB, 24 APR 13

Berlusconi's hometown gives gays local marriage rights

ITALY, Arcore: On 25 April 2013, the town of Arcore was reported to have introduced an official register for its same-sex couples, extending some rights including access to local benefits, like council houses and family support allowance.

Connecticut Senate votes to restore benefits to veterans denied them under 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

UNITED STATES, Connecticut: On 24 April 2013, the Senate voted 34-0 in favour of legislation which would make veterans who have been denied federal benefits based on their sexual orientation, eligible for state benefits. They must also have had their federal benefits reinstated. The bill will now move to the Connecticut House.

24 April 2013

Idaho Revises Requirements for Gender Markers on Driver's Licenses

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 23 April 2013, the Transportation Department announced that it had amended its policy regarding changes to driver's licenses to allow transgender people to correct the gender marker on their license without showing proof that they have undergone surgery.

Colombian Senate Votes Down Marriage Equality

COLOMBIA: On 24 April 2013, the Senate rejected a marriage equality bill 51-17, defying a mandate by the nation's highest court to extend same-sex couples all the benefits of marriage.

Rhode Island Becomes 10th State To Approve Marriage Equality

UNITED STATES, Rhode Island: On 24 April 2013, the Senate voted 26-12 to pass marriage equality bill S38. The House needs to approve some Senate revisions, likely Thursday. Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) has promised to sign the bill.

23 April 2013

Tennessee Governor Signs College Nondiscrimination Ban

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 19 April 2013, Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 0534, a Bill that prohibits public institutions of higher education from denying recognition, privileges or benefits to a student organization or group on the basis of religious content of the organization's or group's speech or the manner in which the organization or group determines its organizational affairs.

Delaware House of Reps approves gay marriage bill

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 23 April 2013, the House voted 23-18 to pass marriage equality bill HB75 that now moves on to the State Senate for consideration.

Nevada Senate OKs Marriage Equality, Senator Comes Out

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 22 April 2013, the Senate voted 12-9 approving Senate Joint Resolution 13 (SJR13) to repeal the statewide constitutional amendment that currently bars same-sex couples from marrying. The Assembly would have to vote on the measure. It would then have to be approved by both houses again in 2015, and then voters would make the final decision in 2016 by ballot.

France Approves Marriage Equality Bill

FRANCE: On 23 April 2013, the French parliament approved 331 to 225 a bill legalising gay marriage and adoption for same-sex couples in its final vote on the legislation. President François Hollande has already pledged to sign the bill into law.

22 April 2013

Governor Inslee signs gender-neutral language bill

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 22 April 2013, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5077 into law to make language in the state's copious laws gender-neutral.

Sweden Adopts a Gender-Neutral Pronoun

SWEDEN: On 22 April 2013, a new gender-neutral pronoun “hen”, that allows speakers and writers to refer to a person without including reference to a person's gender, was reported to have been added to the country's National Encyclopedia.

21 April 2013

Legislation to legalise same-sex marriage passed in Parliament this week has become law

NEW ZEALAND: On 21 April 2013, the Governor General gave Royal Assent to the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Act. There is a four month wait written into the Act so the Department of Internal Affairs can make the necessary changes to forms, certificates and computer systems. This means the first date that same-sex couples will be able to marry will be 19 August.

20 April 2013

Federal judge rules Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in immigration visa cases

UNITED STATES, California: On 19 April 2013, District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall ruled that the Defense Of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as it discriminates against same-sex married persons seeking immigration visas, finding that only state laws govern marriage, and that Congress has no rational basis to deny lawfully-married same-sex immigrants the same constitutional rights kept by opposite-sex applicants.
• Order: Martin R Aranas, Irma Rodriguez and Jane DeLeon v. Janet Napolitano et al SACV 12-1137-CBM-AJW, 19 APR 13

Nevada equal marriage bill amended for religious protection ahead of Senate vote

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 19 April 2013, the Senate voted 11–10 to amend Senate Joint Resolution 13 (SJR13) by adding a statement that “Religious organizations and clergy have the right to refuse to solemnize a marriage and no person has the right to make any claim against a religious organization or clergy for such a refusal”.

19 April 2013

Sex Change Didn't 'Magically Dissolve' Marriage

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 16 April 2013, the Court of Appeals ruled that a Michigan woman suffering from dementia was properly granted a divorce from her husband who had since marriage surgically become a woman.
• Opinion: In re Estate of Devon Pearl Burnett No 309640 PDF 30.63kb, 16 APR 13

Same-sex parent who pays support can seek custody: judge

UNITED STATES, New York: On 02 April 2013, Suffolk County Family Court Judge Theresa Whelan in an opinion published 18 April 2013, ruled a biological mother who was awarded child support from her former same-sex partner cannot stop her from seeking custody by arguing she is not legally a parent.
• Order: Estrellita A. v. Jennifer D. Suffolk County Family Court, No. V-443-13. 02 April 2013

Judge rules same-sex couples in Rio de Janeiro state can marry

BRAZIL, Rio De Janeiro: On 19 April 2013, Judge Valmir de Oliveira Silva, General Magistrate of Justice of Rio de Janeiro, ruled that existing legal provisions prohibiting same-sex unions were unconstitutional and in breach of the Federal Supreme Court's previous ruling on gay marriage.

17 April 2013

Texas Senate committee votes to repeal anti-gay law

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 17 April 2013, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted 5–0 to repeal the state's anti-gay sodomy law, a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. The bill was sent to the full Senate for a vote.

Delaware House panel approves gay marriage

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 17 April 2013, the House Administration Committee approved the gay marriage bill HB75 with a 4-1 vote sending it to a House floor vote.

New Zealand's Parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage

On 17 April 2013, the Parliament finally passed the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Bill introduced by Labour MP Louisa Walls in a 77-44 vote. The Bill amends the definition of “marriage” to mean “… the union of 2 people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity”. After being signed into law, authorities have four months to finalise paperwork in order for the first same-sex marriages to take place in mid-August. NZ 17 APR

16 April 2013

Transgender identity bill passed by California Assembly panel

UNITED STATES, California: On 16 April 2013, the Assembly Committee on Judiciary passed AB 1121 that will, if it becomes law, help ensure that transgender people have access to identity documents that accurately reflect the name and gender that correspond to their gender identity. The bill will next go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Judge rules in favor of women denied room at Hawaii bed and breakfast because they're gayUNITED STATES: Hawaii: On 11 April 2013, Judge Edwin C Nacino in the First Circuit Court of Hawai'i ruled in favor of Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford finding that Aloha Bed & Breakfast discriminated against them by refusing them accommodation in 2007.
• Order: Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford v. Aloha Bed & Breakfast PDF 130.21kb, 11 APR 13

15 April 2013

Man executed and crucified for male rape, murder and theft in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA: On 27 March 2013, the ministry of interior released a statement saying a religious court had executed and crucified Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussein, a Yemeni national, alleged to have robbed, raped and killed a Pakistani male migrant worker.

14 April 2013

Constitutional Convention recommends referendum on same-sex marriage

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 14 April 2013, the Constitutional Convention recommended the Constitution be changed to allow for civil marriage for same-sex couples. 79 out of 100 convention members voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriage in the Irish Constitution. 81 voted in favour of enacting laws to give “appropriate” protections to the same-sex parents of children, and 78 voted that the laws should be enacted throughout Ireland.

13 April 2013

Housing Discrimination against Gays, Lesbians, and Poor Still Legal in Most States

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 11 April 2013, the National Fair Housing Alliance released its 2013 Fair Housing Trends Report highlighting the need to amend the federal Fair Housing Act to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income, and marital status.
• Report: Modernizing the Fair Housing Act for the 21st Century PDF 530.21kb, 11 APR 13

Montana Finally Strikes Law Criminalizing Gay Sex

UNITED STATES, Montana: On 10 April 2013, the Montana state legislature passed 65–34 Senate Bill 107, which removed from the state code's obsolete language criminalizing gay sex as “deviate sexual conduct”. The bill now heads to the Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock for a signature.

12 April 2013

French Senate backs same-sex marriage bill

FRANCE: On 12 April 2013, the Senate approved (by a show of hands) the “Marriage for All” bill that would give same-sex couples the rights to marry and adopt. The bill, to which 10 amendments were made in the Senate, must now go through a second reading in the National Assembly (now expected on 17 April 2013)and a final reading in the upper house.

Northern Cyprus to legalize gay sex

NORTHERN CYPRUS: On 12 April 2013, it was reported that the Prime Ministry's European Union (EU) Coordination Centre had drawn up an amendment to repeal Articles 171, 172 and 173 of Chapter 154 of the TRNC Penal Code that prohibit male same-sex acts.

French senate backs adoption reforms

FRANCE: On 10 April 2013, the Senate approved the second 'adoption' article of the ('Marriage for All') Bill by a majority.

11 April 2013

Vietnam scraps fines on same-sex marriages, but far from legalization

VIETNAM: On 11 April 2013, it was reported that the Government had scraped a draft decree to have taken effect in July, that would have fined homosexual couples that get married VND200,000-1 million (US$9.55-47.77), twice the current fine introduced in 2000. Deputy minister of Justice Pham Quy Ty said this “doesn’t mean Vietnam recognizes same-sex marriages”.

Vice trade two are sent to jail

BAHRAIN: On 11 April 2013, it was reported that two Chinese men, aged in their 30s, who charged BD10 to have sex with male customers at the massage parlour, in Hamad Town, pleaded guilty to prostitution and homosexuality in the Lower Criminal Court, which handed them the maximum sentence of five years imprisonment. Both men will be deported after completing their sentence.

Gay man arrested in Missouri after refusing to leave the hospital room of his partner

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 09 April 2013 Roger Gorley was asked to leave his partner Allen Mansell's Research Medical Center hospital room in Kansas City, Missouri, when one of the patient's family members objected to his presence. The hospital said Roger Gorley's behaviour was disruptive and belligerent, necessitating his removal.

Delaware Unveils Marriage Equality Bill

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 11 April 2013, the state's political leadership, including the governor Jack Markell, lieutenant governor Matt Denn, Speaker of the House Beau Biden, and Senate President Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins, announced the introduction of marriage equality legislation.

Nevada Marriage Equality Headed to Senate Floor

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 11 April 2013, the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee passed Senate Joint Resolution 13 repealing the state's heterosexual-only defintion of marriage along a party-line of 3–2. The bill now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Uruguay marriage bill passes, will be made law

URUGUAY: On 10 April 2013, the Lower House voted 71-21 to pass a same-sex marriage bill. The country's president, José Mujica, has already indicated that he will sign it into law. The measure to raise the minimum age for marriage to 16 for everyone, instead of the present age 12 for girls and 14 for boys.

10 April 2013

Unprotected Sex Leads to Aggravated Assault Verdict

UNITED STATES: On 21 March 2013, the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of Technical Sergeant David Gutierrez, found guilty 18 January 2011 of seven counts of aggravated assault, violating his commander's orders (to notify his partners that he is HIV-positive), and for failing to notify partners about his HIV status and to use condoms.

New state non-discrimination bill introduced, includes teachers

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 09 April 2013, Reps. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenburg), Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford), Susi Hamilton (D-Brunswick, New Hanover), and Darren Jackson (D-Wake) introduced state employment non-discrimination House Bill 647. Unlike a similar bill introduced in late March, this bill would also extend protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to teachers and other school staff across the state.

Slovenia's judges demand new laws for gay couples

SLOVENIA: In April 2013, the Constitutional Court reportedly ruled that the Family Code discriminates against same-sex couples. The judges voted 7-2 in favour of asking the parliament to change the Code's inheritance and succession rules as a same-sex couples should have the same rights of a straight ones.

California Bans Health Insurance Discrimination Against Trans Patients

UNITED STATES, California: On 09 April 2013, Department of Managed Health Care issued guidelines to expressly prohibit discrimination against transgender people in health insurance coverage, confirming that insurance providers in the state must provide coverage for medically necessary transition-related treatment for transgender patients.

Singapore High Court upholds anti-gay sex law

SINGAPORE: On 10 April 2013, the High Court dismissed two legal challenges in which plaintiffs gay couple Gary Lim and Kenneth Che sought to have the country's anti-gay sex law declared unconstitutional.

09 April 2013

France soars over last big hurdle in race to marriage equality

FRANCE: On 09 April 2013, the Senate voted 179-157 in favour of Section 1 of the marriage equality bill which will remove all gender references on marriage applications. The Senate will vote one-by-one on the remaining sections of the bill.

Montana House endorses bill decriminalizing gay sex

UNITED STATES, Montana: On 09 April 2013, in a 64-36 vote the House endorsed Senate Bill 107 that would repeal an obsolete state law criminalizing gay sex. The Bill needs to pass a final vote before being sent to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Bill To Help Gay Military Families

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 05 April 2013, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez vetoed a bill that would have helped same-sex domestic partners of military personnel obtain professional licenses in New Mexico. She later signed an identical bill that only protected heterosexual military couples.

Gay couples a step closer to full adoption rights in Australian state of Tasmania

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 09 April 2013, the House voted 18–4 in favour of a Bill giving same-sex couples and unmarried straight couples the right to adopt on the same basis as married heterosexual couples. The Bill now moves to the Upper House.
• Bill: Adoption Amendment Bil 2013 PDF 76.7kb

06 April 2013

Dubai men get three years in prison for 'gay prostitution'

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Dubai: On 31 March 2013, presiding judge Mohammad Jamal jailed 22-year-old A.S. and 30-year-old A.H. for three years each for posing as male prostitutes over a social media network, WhosHere, and offering their dancing and sexual services for or Dh1,500 per night. A.S. and A.H. were detained in a sting operation in a five star hotel room.

05 April 2013

Judge refuses to recognise gay couple's marriage

PARAGUAY: On 04 April 2013, Judge Nery Kunzle rejected Cazal Simon and Sergio Lopez's request to register their Argentinian marriage, quoting articles 49, 50 and 51 of the constitution that states marriage is only formed by a man and a woman.

04 April 2013

Same-sex ex granted natural parent status

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 03 April 2013, State District Judge Glenn Ellington granted Bani Chatterjee, the former lesbian partner of Taya King who adopted a Russian child 13 years ago, legal status as a natural parent.

Buncombe County advances LGBT worker protections

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 02 April 2013, county commissioners voted 4–3 to amend Buncombe County's employee non-discrimination statement to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Ordinance is subject to a confirming vote on 16 April.

03 April 2013

Transgender woman wins legal right to marry after government drops case

MALTA: The Malta Government has reportedly pledged to promptly enact the required changes to the Civil Code to ensure recognition of transgender persons as persons of the acquired sex for all intents and purposes, including marriage.

Bisbee becomes Arizona's first city to OK same-sex civil unions

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 02 April 2013, Bisbee City Council members voted 5-2 to add a section to the city charter that clears the way for civil unions in their town regardless of the sexual orientation. State Attorney General Tom Horne will likely challenge the ordinance as unconsitutional.

02 April 2013

ACLU of Nevada Challenges "Infamous Crime Against Nature" Statute

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 02 April 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and the National ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and AIDS Project, filed a lawsuit challenging Nevada's discriminatory “infamous crime against nature” statute carrying a possible five-year prison sentence.

4 ways to protect your gay relationship in Georgia

UNITED STATES, Georgia: Whilst State law doesn't recognize LGBT marriages and relationships a Domestic Partnership Agreement, Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive, Last Will and a second-parent adoption can protect LGBT partners, their families, and their personal interests.

Breaking New Ground In Kansas: Same-Sex Parental and Property Rights

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 22 February 2013, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that parental rights expressly given in a co-parenting agreement are, if in the best interests of the child, enforceable and same-sex couples may have their property divided under the same principles as heterosexual cohabitating couples.
• Syllabus by the Court: Marci Frazier v. Kelly Goudschaal No. 103487 PDF 156.02kb 22 February 2013

Uruguay's Senate says 'I do' to gay marriage

URUGUAY: On 02 April 2013, the Senate (Camara de Senadores) voted 23–8 for the 'Marriage Equality' bill stating that 'marriage is the permanent union between two persons of the same or opposite sex'. The lower house is expected to vote and pass the modified bill within two weeks following which the government has up to 90 days to implement it, after which President Jose Mujica has to sign it officially into law.

01 April 2013

Senate committee approves same-sex registry, rights

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 01 April 2013, the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs voted 5-4 in favour of SB 196 that were it to become law would establish a domestic partner registry and guarantee specific rights to gay and lesbian partners. With four more committee stops in the Senate and the House having not considered it, the Bill likely has no future.

4 States With Scientifically Unsound Laws Criminalizing HIV

UNITED STATES: There are a confusing variety of HIV disclosure regulations covering private sex between consenting adults in four states: biting prohibited (Missouri), sexual penetration, however slight (Michigan), assault with intent to transmit HIV upon a peace officer or a correctional officer using bodily fluids (Georgia) and placing prohibited bodily fluids with the intent a person will “involuntarily touch” (Indiana).

Lesbian Sailor Faces Court-Martial For Civil Union

UNITED STATES: On 01 April 2013, it was reported that Chief Petty Officer Sabrina Russell would face a trial by court-martial for “fraternization” after for entering into a relationship, and a civil union, with Jodi Geidel, a female petty officer first class she met while she was on duty in Afghanistan.

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