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August 2013

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30 August 2013

Judge: Denial of Equal Veterans' Benefits Unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, California: On 29 August 2013, US district judge Consuelo Marshall ruled in Cooper-Harris et al v. United States of America that Title 38, a section of US law preventing same-sex couples from receiving the same veterans' benefits as straight couples, is unconstitutional.
• Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment: Cooper-Harris et al v. United States of America No 2:12-00887-CBM (AJWx) PDF 42.06kb, 29 AUG 13

29 August 2013

Jerome approves civil unions

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 30 July 2013, Jerome Council adopted an ordinance enabling couples that file for civil unions to be eligible to receive partner benefits like health insurance. A fee of $73 applies.

New Mexico lesbian couple denied marriage licence file lawsuit against state

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 28 August 2013, the Sandoval County County Clerk Eileen Garbagni refused to issue a marriage licence to Carolyn VanHousen and Gail Gering. The ACLU are planning to file suit on behalf of the couple.

HHS Offers Benefits, Joint Placement to Married LGBT Seniors on Medicare

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 29 August 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that legally married same-sex couples on Medicare will be eligible for equal benefits and joint placement in nursing homes around the country.

Frankfort Becomes Fifth Ky. City With Antidiscrimination Ordinance

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 29 August 2013, the Frankfort Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to enact a “fairness” ordinance that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on someone's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Court upholds law banning therapy to change sexual orientation

UNITED STATES, California: On 29 August 2013, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld (3-0) the Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Bill (SB1172) that prohibits licensed mental health therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of minors, saying the law does not violate the free speech rights of patients or professionals, or the fundamental rights of parents and the state has the right to prohibit treatment it deems harmful.
• Opinion: David H Pickup et. al. v. Edmund G Brown et. al. No. 12-17681 PDF 170.29kb, 29 AUG 13

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28 August 2013

Inmate one step closer to getting Virginia to shell out $20k for her sex-change operation

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 28 August 2013, US District Court, Western District of Virginia Judge James C. Turk ruled that Ophelia De'Lonta, a 53-year-old, pre-operative transexual, is entitled to get evaluated by a gender identity specialist of her choice, at her expense.
• Memorandum Opinion: Ophelia Azreil De'Lonta v. Harold W Clarke et. al. No. 11-cv-00257 PDF 313.58kb, 28 AUG 13

27 August 2013

No Spousal Benefits for Gay Veterans, Yet

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 14 August 2013, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki advised Senator Jeanne Shaheen that benefits for same-sex spouses of veterans will continue to be denied for the time being despite the US Supreme Court's ruling against Defense of Marriage Act, because a portion of the US code governing veterans' benefits, Title 38, defines a spouse as a member of the opposite sex and that definition is independent of DOMA.
• The Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Letter to Senator Jeanne Shaheen PDF 63.02kb,14 AUG 13

Gay Nebraska Couples Sue For Adoption Rights

UNITED STATES, Nebraska: On 27 August 2013, three gay Nebraska couples filed a suit alleging the policy prohibiting the state from allowing adoption by or issuing foster parent licenses to “persons who identify themselves as homosexuals” or who are “unrelated, unmarried adults residing together” violates the couple's equal protection rights under the US Constitution.
• Complaint and Praecipe: Greg Stewart et al v. Dave Heineman et al PDF 277.63kb, 27 AUG 13

26 August 2013

New Mexico county told to issue same-sex marriage licenses

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 26 August 2013, Second Judicial District Court Judge Alan Malott ruled that “To the extent (that the New Mexico Statutes Annotated Section 40-1-1 et seq) may be read to prohibit issuance of a Marriage Licence to otherwise qualified same sex couples, those prohibitions are unconstitutional and unenforceable … ” and ordered the Bernalillo and Sante Fe County Clerks to issue marriage licences upon application.
• Declaratory Judgment: Rose Griego, et. al., v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, et. al. D-202-CV-201302757 PDF 8.17MB, 26 AUG 13

24 August 2013

Texas high court to consider same-sex divorce

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 23 August 2013, the Texas Supreme Court set 05 November for oral arguments in State of Texas v. Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly and In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. as to whether the two same-sex couples may be divorced under Texas law.
• Petition for Revew: State of Texas v. Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly No. 11-0114 PDF 1.77MB, 21 MAR 11
• Petition for Revew: In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. No. 11-0024 PDF 804.06kb, 17 FEB 11

Jamaica: Manchester community barricades five men out of fear of homosexuality

JAMAICA: On 22 August 2013, police reportedly escorted five men out of a Manchester community after angry community members, who barricaded them in a house, alleged that one of the men made unspecified comments that caused them to be concerned, especially for the area's children.

23 August 2013

Oxford Dictionary officially changes marriage definition to include gay couples

UNITED KINGDOM: On 23 August 2013, it was reported that the online versions of the Oxford English, Collins and Macmillan dictionaries acknowledge that marriage is no longer limited to a man and a woman, so including same-sex marriage.

2nd N.M. county issuing same-sex marriage licenses

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 22 August 2013, First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah M Singleton ordered Sante Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue a marriage license to Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson.
• Alternative Writ of Mandamus: State of New Mexico ex rel. Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson v. Geraldine Salazar No. D-0101-CV-2013-02182 PDF 105.14kb, 22 AUG 13

New Mexico Supreme Court rules against photography business that turned down gay wedding

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 22 August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the refusal of Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography to photograph the 2006 wedding of plaintiff Vanessa Willock and her partner had violated the state's Human Rights Act.
• Opinion: Elane Photography LLC v. Vaness Willock Docket No. 33,687 PDF 97.79kb, 22 AUG 13

22 August 2013

Ban on Malaysiaís LGBT festival upheld by Appeals Court

MALAYSIA: On 19 August 2013, Court of Appeal justices Clement Allan Skinner, Mohamad Ariff Mohamad Yusof and David Wong Dak Wah upheld the decision of High Court Judge Rohana Yusuf - finding that the police ban on the annual LGBT Seksualiti Merdeka festival in 2011 was lawful - but say the ban on the event was only for that year.

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21 August 2013

Gay attorney named to Maryland bench

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 13 August 2013, Gov. Martin O'Malley appointed Mark Scurti, a well-known gay attorney in Baltimore's LGBT community, as an associate judge on the Baltimore City District Court.

Same-sex couples receive marriage licenses from Dona Ana County

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 21 August 2013, Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins announced his office would begin issuing marriage licenses to all applicants. The law in New Mexico is silent on gay marriage.

Florida county adopts trans ordinance

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 20 August 2013, Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners voted 6-1 to add gender identity to the county's human rights ordinance, prohibiting most organizations in the county from discriminating against trans people in employment, housing and public accommodations (including access to public restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity and expression).

Court Finds Consensual Sex No Crime for HIV-Positive Man

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 21 July 2013, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that it was not a crime for Daniel James Rick, an HIV-positive man, to have consensual sex with a partner “D.B.” to whom he had disclosed his status.
• Opinion: State of Minnesota v. Daniel James Rick A12-0058 PDF 53.21kb, 21 AUG 13

20 August 2013

Pennsylvania Court to Hear Gay Marriage Arguments on September 4

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 20 August 2013, the Commonwealth Court scheduled 04 September for hearing oral arguments on the governor's attempt to stop a county outside Philadelphia from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
• Order: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health v. D Bruce Hanes No. 379 M.D. 2013 PDF 91.62kb, 20 AUG 13

19 August 2013

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signs into law a ban on 'gay conversion' therapy for minors

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 19 August 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed into law Bill A3371, banning gay conversion therapy for those under 18 years of age and becoming the second state to do so.

17 August 2013

Germany will soon be the first European country to have three gender options on a birth certificate

GERMANY: On 01 November 2013, legislative changes passed in May will allow parents to opt out of determining their baby's gender, thereby allowing those born with characteristics of both sexes to choose whether to become male or female in later life. Under the new law, individuals can also opt to remain outside the gender binary altogether.

16 August 2013

New Mexico High Court Wont Decide Gay Marriage Issue

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 15 August 2013, the state Supreme Court denied requests by same-sex couples from Santa Fe, Albuquerque and other communities who had asked the justices to declare gay marriage legal (in Hanna v. Salazar and Griego v. Oliver). The justices said the gay marriage issue could be pursued in a lower court “with a right to request expedited review”.

15 August 2013

Historic ruling: Judge orders anti-gay Scott Lively to stand trial for crimes against humanity

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 14 August 2013, in perhaps a precedent setting judgment US District Judge Michael Ponsor in Springfield, Massachusetts ruled a persecution of LGBT people is a crime against humanity, finding extremist anti-gay US pastor Scott Lively had a case to answer.
• Memorandum and Order: Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively No. 12-cv-30051-MAP PDF 121.46kb, 14 AUG 13

Two men arrested for gay sex in Zambia

ZAMBIA: On 15 August 2013, Harrison Jere and Jackson Musonda were reportedly arrested after having been caught having consensual sex in the Lusaka house in which they were living. They were being held in prison pending trial on 29 August.

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14 August 2013

Gay Ohio Couple Win Extension Recognizing Marriage

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 13 August 2013, Federal Judge Timothy Black extended his previous order, set to expire in less than a week, until 31 December, which will protect John Arthur and James Obergefell's marriage as their lawsuit against state and local authorities proceeds, preventing authorities from recording Arthur, who's dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, as “single” on his death certificate and not listing Obergefell as his spouse.

Pentagon Backs Gay Nups, Gives Full Benefits

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 14 August 2013, the Pentagon announced plans to extend full personnel benefits including housing and healthcare, to all legally married same-sex military spouses by 03 September.

Prop 8 Proponents Fail To Halt Marriage ≠ Again

UNITED STATES, California: On 14 August 2013, the California Supreme Court again rejected a legal challenge by Proposition 8's proponents to stop same-sex couples' weddings who argued that only an appellate court should be able to overturn a statewide law.

12 August 2013

Lesbian couple claims spousal privilege in Kentucky murder case to prevent wife from testifying

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 16 August 2013, Jefferson County Judge Susan Schultz Gibson is expected to rule on the question of whether Geneva Case - one member of a 2004 Vermont civil union same-sex couple - has spousal privilege that would shield her from testifying against her partner Bobbie Jo Clary in a capital murder case. Trial is set for 30 August.

Federal Judge Rules NYC's 'Stop-and-Frisk' Policy Unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, New York: On 12 August 2013, US District Court Judge Shira Sheindlin concluded that the New York Police Department's “stop-and-frisk” tactics violated the constitutional Fourth Amendment rights of minorities to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. LGBT groups in the city and around the nation have spoken out in opposition to the policy, noting that it disproportionately targets LGBT people, especially those who are of color or gender-nonconforming.
• Opinion and Order Part I: Floyd v. City of New York 08-CV-1034 PDF 1.59MB, 12 AUG 13
• Opinion and Order Part II: Floyd v. City of New York 08-CV-1034 PDF 659.04kb, 12 AUG 13

Peak Australian Family Court Rules on Teenage Gender Identity Treatment

AUSTRALIA: On 31 July 2013, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia ruled that absent a dispute, stage one treatment of childhood gender identity disorder is not a special medical procedure which displaces the parental responsibility of the parents to decide upon the appropriate treatment for their child, whilst stage 2 treatment requires court authorisation for parental consent unless the child concerned is Gillick competent when the child can consent to the treatment and no court authorisation is required, absent any controversy.
• Judgment: RRe: Jamie [2013] FamCAFC 110 PDF 322.73kb, 31 JUL 13

09 August 2013

Supreme Court rejects Va. request for stay on sodomy law

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 09 August 2013, US Chief Justice John Roberts denied a request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that a lower court ruling overturning the state's sodomy law be put on hold while the Supreme Court decides whether to hear Cuccinelli's appeal.

Brazil Army Must Recognize Same-Sex Civil Union

BRAZIL, Pernambuco: On 09 August 2013, Judge Elio Siqueira in the northeastern state of Pernambuco has ordered Brazil's Army for the first time to recognize a same-sex civil union between a sergeant and his companion they being entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples in terms of things such as alimony and retirement benefits because the two have been in a stable civil union for three years.

08 August 2013

Australia: Court allows trans teenagers to undergo hormone therapy

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 31 July 2013, Justice Murphy in the Family Court of Australia, in two similar but separate teenage cases heard together, ordered that Stage 1 hormone treatment did not require Court approval but Stage 2 treatment being the administration of Oestradiol Valerate (to Sam) and Testosterone Enanthate (to Terry) did require authorisation by the Court.
• Judgment: Re: Sam and Terry (Gender Dysphoria) [2013] FamCA 563 PDF 193.70kb, 31 JUL 13

Charges Dismissed Against Lesbian Sailor Court Martialed for Civil Union

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 07 August 2013, military judge, Cmdr. Charles Stimson, dismissed a charge against Chief Petty Officer Sabrina Russell that accused the 31-year-old sailor of an inappropriate relationship with another servicewoman at Naval Station Great Lakes. Her civil union partner Petty Officer 1st Class Jodi Geibel opted to avoid court-martial proceedings by accepting nonjudicial punishment - a $2,000 fine and loss of her job specialty as a recruit division commander.

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07 August 2013

Taiwan: same-sex transgender marriage can stay

TAIWAN: On 07 August 2013, the Interior Ministry announced that the marriage license of transgender couple Abbygail Wu and Ji-yi Wu should remain valid. The Wus both transitioned from male to female in July last year.

Australian court finds bashing of gay activist not vilification

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 07 August 2013, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled that the bashing of LGBT activist Simon Margan by Danny Manias who had previously harassed him over his sexuality was not an act of vilification, though the comments he made earlier constituted unlawful homosexual vilification. The ADT ordered that Manias take out a quarter page advertisement in a gay newspaper apologizing for the comments to Margan who Manias must also pay $1,000.
• Decision: Margan v Manias [2013] NSWADT 177 PDF 143.71kb, 07 AUG 13

06 August 2013

Tennessee city offers equal benefits to same-sex partners of city workers

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 05 August 2013, the City of Collegedale became the first in Tennessee to adopt (4-1) a measure extending equal benefits to same-sex domestic partners of city workers.

Court authorisation no longer needed for treatment of trans youth

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 12 July 2013, Justice Murphy in the Family Court of Australia ruled that Court authorisation will no longer be required when trans young people request hormone-blocking medication. These requests will continue to be evaluated through screening in collaboration with a young person's medical professionals and their parent or guardian.
• Judgment: Re: Lucy (Gender Dysphoria) [2013] FamCA 518 PDF 194.70kb, 12 JUL 13

Transsexuals can change sex without surgery in Italy

ITALY, Trentino: On 05 August 2013, a tribunal in Rovereto released a judgment ruling that a transsexual can officially change sex by registering at the local registry office, without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
• Judgment: NC born in XX/XX/196X XX C.F. XX n. 1027/2012 (in Italian) PDF 28.20kb, 05 AUG 13

03 August 2013

US grants gay spouses equal visa rights

UNITED STATES: On 02 August 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that effective immediately, visa applications by same-sex spouses would be treated the same as those by heterosexual husbands or wives, as long as their marriage was recognised in the country where they wed.

02 August 2013

Croatia to recognise same-sex civil unions by year-end

CROATIA: On 02 August 2013, Public Administration Minister Arsen Bauk announced Croatia is drawing up a law on same-sex civil unions to provide equal rights to them as to heterosexual married couples, possibly including adoption rights.

01 August 2013

Austria Becomes the 13rd European Country to Allow Same-Sex Second-Parent Adoption

AUSTRIA: On 01 August 2013, legislation (passed on 04 July) allowing same-sex second-parent adoption in Austria came into force.

Alabama judge validates lesbian momís visitation rights to her children

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 25 July 2013, a circuit judge in Mobile County granted standard visitation rights to a lesbian mother without any overnight restriction on unmarried partners.

Harris, et al. v. McDonnell, et al.

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 31 July 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal filed a federal class action lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry for all same-sex couples in Virginia as well as an end to Virginia's refusal to recognize marriages same-sex couples have legally entered elsewhere.
• Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff et al v. Robert F McDonnell, Janet Rainey et al PDF 206.73kb, 31 JUL 13

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