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December 2013

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31 December 2013

Connecticut Becomes Fifth State to Require Transgender Medical Coverage

UNITED STATES, Connecticut: On 19 December 2013, the State Insurance Department issued Bulletin 1C-37 informing health insurance companies and like providers that deliver or issue individual and group health insurance policies within the state, that they are now required to cover treatments related to gender transition.
• Connecticut Insurance Department: Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Requirements Bulletin 1C-37 PDF 1.49MB, 20 DEC 13

Utah Applies for Stay of Marriage Equality Ruling

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 31 December 2013, the State of Utah petitioned the Supreme Court to stay the ruling by US District Judge Robert Shelby in the marriage equality case. The petition is addressed to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is assigned to hear such petitions that come from states in the 10th Circuit.
• Application to Stay Judgment Pending Appeal: Gary R Herbet & Ors v. Derek Kitchen & Ors No. A13- PDF 927.60kb 31 DEC13

Same-sex married couples file lawsuit against state over tax treatment

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 31 December 2013, same-sex married couples Roberta and Julia Woodrick and Michael Nelson and Charles Dedmon were reported to have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Revenue seeking an order that they file tax returns as “married” couples and not as single persons.

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26 December 2013

Bulgaria Court rules claim gay men are more dangerous than smoking is unlawful

BULGARIA: On 26 December 2013, the Supreme Administrative Court was reported to have ruled that the “gays are more dangerous than tobacco smoking because they spread AIDS on a mass scale” comment of film director Andrey Slabakov constituted unlawful harassment, ordering the country's Commission for Protection against Discrimination to take action against him.

Israeli parties come to compromise to allow equal tax breaks for same-sex parents

ISRAEL: On 25 December 2013, the Knesset passed 44-20 a bill to allow same-sex parents to enjoy the same tax benefits as heterosexual couples with children. The Finance Ministry is expected to approve the reform by regulation.

25 December 2013

Japan revises law to protect against same-sex sexual harassment

JAPAN: On 24 December 2013, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare was reported to have revised an act on gender employment equality, making same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace unlawful.

Federal Appeals Court denies request to halt gay marriages in Utah

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 24 December 2013, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state's emergency motion for a stay pending appeal and for a temporary stay, directing the expedited consideration of the appeal.
• Order: Derek Kitchen & Ors v. Gary R Herbert & Ors No. 13-4178 PDF 49.92kb, 24 DEC 13

24 December 2013

West Virginia City Expands Anti-Discrimination Law

UNITED STATES, West Virginia: On 23 December 2013, the Huntington City Council voted 11-0 to amend the Fairness Ordinance, prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and veteran status, such as in denying employment.

23 December 2013

Brief Filed in Oklahoma Gay Marriage Ban Lawsuit

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 22 December 2013, lawyers acting for two same-sex couples suing for the right to marry in Oklahoma and to have a marriage from another jurisdiction recognized in the state, filed a brief pointing to a recent ruling in Utah that found a same-sex marriage ban violated the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.
• Notice of Supplemental Post-Windsor Authority: Mary Bishop & Ors v. United States ex rel. Eric H Holder & Anor. No. 04-CV-848-TCK-TLW PDF 319.43kb, 22 DEC 13

Court: Indiana gay marriage ban cannot invalidate marriages of transgender spouses

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 23 December 2013, the Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 ruling delivered by Mathias J, determined that Indiana's law banning same-sex marriage cannot be used to invalidate a marriage if one spouse later changes his or her gender identity.
• Opinion: In Re the Marriage of Melanie Davis and Angela Summers No. 53A01-1305-DR-221 PDF 224.21kb, 20 DEC 13

Ohio Judge Swipes At Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 23 December 2013, Judge Timothy Black in the Ohio US District Court that state officials must recognize the unions of same-sex couples,specifically addressing the matter of the issuance of death certificates and touching upon all aspects of the state law denying marriage equality.
• Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction: James Obergefell v. Theodore W Wymyslo Case No. 1:13-cv-501 PDF 26.59kb, 23 DEC 13

Marriages to Continue in Utah

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 23 December 2013, US District Court Judge Robert A. Shelby denied the state's motion to put his ruling on hold while the appeal process continues.
• Order on Motion for Stay: Derek Kitchen & Ors v. Gary R Herbert & Ors Civil Case No. 2:13-cv-00217-RJS PDF 175.59kb, 20 DEC 13

22 December 2013

Federal Appeals Court Won't Stop Utah Marriages

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 22 December 2013, in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judges Holmes and Bacharach denied Utah's emergency request for a temporary stay in the case to establish legal marriage equality.
• Order: Derek Kitchen & Ors v. Gary R Herbert & Ors No. 13-4178 PDF 109.19kb, 22 DEC 13

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21 December 2013

Cuban lawmakers ban anti-gay employment discrimination

CUBA: On 20 December 2013, Cuban lawmakers approved a proposal that purportedly would amend the country’s labor law to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Utah Acting Attorney General Asks Appeals Court To Halt Same-Sex Marriages

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 20 December 2013, the Acting Attorney General Brian Tarbet filed motions for a stay of the judgment that that the state's ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional in both the District Court and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
• State Defendants' Mortion for Stay Pending Appeal: Derek Kitchen & Ors v. Gary R Berbert & Ors Civil Case No. 2:13-cv-00217-RJS PDF 175.59kb 20 DEC 13
• Emergency Motion for a Temporary Stay: Derek Kitchen & Ors v. Gary R Berbert & Ors No. 13-4178 PDF 1.31MB 20 DEC 13

New Jersey Senate Passes Transgender Birth Certificate Bill

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 19 December 2013, the Senate passed Bill A4097 (S2786) by a vote of 21-11. If signed into law by Governor Christie, the often-difficult and cost-prohibitive process of updating identification documents will be made easier for transgender individuals.

20 December 2013

Navajo Nation Law on Marriage Stands

UNITED STATES, New Mexico, Utah: On 20 December 2013, Deswood Tome, an adviser to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, reportedly said that the tribe's own law prohibiting same-sex marriage isn’t affected by the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples in New Mexico (and presumably Utah).

India government asks court to review anti-gay law

INDIA: On 20 December 2013, the government filed a petition for review of the Section 377 decision in the Supreme Court. The court is expected to take up the review petition soon.

Parliament outlaws homosexuality

UGANDA: On 20 December 2013, the Parliament passed the Private Members' Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex and the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places. The Bill must be signed by the President before it can become law.

Federal judge rules Utah’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 20 December 2013, US District Judge Robert J Shelby in the Utah District Court granted a motion for summary judgement in a same-sex marriage case ruling that the State ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and “perpetuates inequality“.
• Memorandum Decision and Order: Derek Kitchen & Ors. v. Gary R Herbert & Ors. Case No. 2:13-cv-217 PDF 230.60kb, 20 DEC 13

19 December 2013

Gay marriage declared legal by New Mexico Supreme Court

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 19 December 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court declared that it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples, holding 5-0 that “civil marriage” shall be construed to mean the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.
• Opinion: Rose Griego & Ors v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Anor Docket No. 34,306 PDF 91.60kb, 19 DEC 13

18 December 2013

The Netherlands Passes Landmark Gender Identity Law

NETHERLANDS: On 18 December 2013, the Parliament passed a new law expected to take effect in July giving transgender people the ability to change their identity on official documents with only a statement from “an expert” testifying to their desire to change their gender identification.

Same-Sex marriage prohibition law in Nigeria

NIGERIA: On 17 December 2013, the National Assembly conference committee on the Same-Sex Bill - stipulating that only marriage contracted between a man and a woman either under Islamic Law, Customary Law or the Marriage Act is recognised as valid - ratified the recommendation of 14-year jail term for offenders, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately sign the harmonized bill into law when finally passed both chambers.

16 December 2013

Social Security benefits now available to gay widows, widowers

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 16 December 2013, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin announced that Social Security is processing some widow's and widower's claims by surviving members of same-sex marriages and paying benefits where they are due. In addition, one-time lump sum death benefit claims may be paid to surviving same-sex spouses.

Illinois Gay Couples With Health Issues Will Be Able to Marry Early

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 10 December 2013, US District Judge Sharon Coleman ordered that “medically critical plaintiffs” can marry immediately instead of waiting for the state's marriage equality law to take effect 01 June.
• Memorandum Opinion and Order: Brenda Lee and Lee Edwards et. al. v. David Orr Case No. 13-cv-8719 PDF 65.54kb, 10 DEC 13

15 December 2013

Lesbian Couple First to Marry in Mexican State

MEXICO, Jalisco: On 14 December 2013, lesbian couple Zaira de la O and Martha Sandoval were reportedly married in Jalisco after a judge granted them the right through an injunction.

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14 December 2013

New Jersey Senate panel approves trans and intersex birth certificate bill

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 12 December 2013, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved 6-2, with 1 abstention, Bill A4097/S2786 which would allow the state's health department to issue new birth certificates to intersex or trans people who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery. The Bill was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. It must still be approved by the full Senate before it becomes law.

13 December 2013

Hagel: Full National Guard To Recognize Gay Couples

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 13 December 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed that National Guard organizations in all 50 states are now compliant with the Department of Defense's directive to extend benefits to all service members' legal spouses. Members in any state-run National Guard can now obtain military identification cards for their husbands or wives.

12 December 2013

Belarus Bans Two LGBT Rights Demonstrations

BELARUS, Minsk: On 11 December 2013, the authorities in Minsk, the capital of the Eastern European country Belarus, reportedly announced the banning of two LGBT rights rallies shcedule for 11-12 December.

Council approves domestic partnership registry

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 12 December 2013, the Pensacola City Council gave final approval 8-1 to establishing a domestic partnership registry. Registrants will be granted the ability to make medical and funeral decisions for each other, visit one another in the hospital or prison and participate in the education of mutual children and also will be automatically notified in case of an emergency and designated as pre-need guardians.

Transgender man recognized as father

JAPAN: On 10 December 2013, three of the five judges of the Supreme Court's Third Petty Bench upheld the petition of a female-to-male transgender man to be recorded on the official family registry as the father of a boy born to his wife after the use of semen from a donor.

EU Court: Gays In Civil Pacts Have Same Benefits

EUROPEAN UNION: On 12 December 2013, the European Court of Justice ruled that in EU countries where gay couples can't marry, they must get the same benefits as married people if they enter into civil partnerships.
• Judgment: Frédéric Hay v Crédit agricole mutuel de Charente-Maritime et des Deux Sèvres Case C-267/12, 12 DEC 13

Same-sex marriage bill introduced in Western Australia

AUSTRALIA, Western Australia: On 11 December 2013, Greens MP Lynn MacLaren introduced the “Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013” into the (Upper House) Legislative Council.
• Bill: Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013 PDF 245.33kb, 11 DEC 13

High Court throws out ACT's controversial same-sex marriage laws

AUSTRALIA, Australian Capital Territory: On 12 December 2013, the High Court of Australia ruled the Australian Capital Territory Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act 1961 and therefore unconstitutional, invalidating marriages recently entered into.
• Order: The Commonwealth of Australia v. The Australian Capital Territory [2013] HCA 55, 12 DEC 13

11 December 2013

Justice Minister announces order to recognise foreign same-sex marriages

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 11 December 2013, the Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter was reported to have made an order, effective 31 December 2013, recognising gay and lesbian couples who married abroad in places where equal marriage became legal in 2013 and extending to them the rights and entitlements which apply to Irish Civil partnerships.

Northern Ireland lifts ban on allowing gay couples to adopt

UNITED KINGDOM, Northern Ireland: On 11 December 2013, The Department of Health was reported to have announced that “Following the Court of Appeal judgement in June 2013, unmarried couples, including same sex couples, and those in a civil partnership may apply to adopt. The final decision regarding the granting of an adoption order lies with the court“.

India's Supreme Court Reinstates Sodomy Ban

INDIA: On 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court overturned the 2009 judgment of the Delhi High Court reinstating Section 377 of the Penal Code making homosexuality unlawful.
• Judgment: Suresh Kumar Koushal & Ors. v. Naz Foundation & Ors. No. 10972 of 2013 PDF601.72kb, 11 DEC 13

10 December 2013

Shreveport passes fairness ordinance

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 10 December 2013, the Shreveport City Council voted 6-1 to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance for the city preventing the discrimination against LGBT individuals in employment, housing, (real estate) and public spaces.
• Fairness Ordinance: Ordinance No. … of 2013 PDF 68.13kb, 20 NOV 13

Gay divorce approved for second time in Israel's history

ISRAEL: On 09 December 2013, Tel Aviv Family Court Judge Naftali Shilo handed down the second court decision in the country's history approving the divorce of a homosexual couple. The court sidestepped the question of gay marriage, approving the divorce by merely ordering the Registrar to strike the couple's married status from its list of married couples.

Same-sex weddings to begin in March

UNITED KINGDOM: On 10 December 2013, Equalities Minister Maria Miller reportedly announced that couples wishing to marry in England and Wales and giving formal notice of their intention by 13 March, will be able to marry from 29 March 2014.

09 December 2013

Morehead City Council Approves LGBT Fairness Law

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 09 December 2013, the Morehead City Council unanimously approved an anti-discrimination Fairness ordinance, extending discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

130 Same-Sex Couples Tie the Knot in Brazil

BRAZIL, Rio de Janeiro: On 08 December 2013, one hundred thirty same-sex couples married in a mass wedding at Rio de Janeiro’s Superior Court before Judge Cristina Gaulia, even though Brazil’s national congress has not passed a bill legalizing gay marriage. The National Judicial Council approved same-sex marriage on 14 May 2013.

Georgia National Guard to process same-sex benefits

UNITED STATES, Georgia: On 09 December 2013, the Georgia National Guard was reported to have agreed to process spousal benefit applications for troops in same-sex marriages.

Taiwan to allow legal gender changes without transitioning

TAIWAN: On 09 December 2013, the Ministry of Health and Welfare reportedly decided to allow people to change their legal gender without the need not go through any medical procedures, including psychiatric evaluation.

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06 December 2013

LGBT Accounting Group Releases Top Tax Planning Tips for Same-Sex Married Couples

UNITED STATES: On 06 December 2013, the LGBT Practice group of Marcum LLP released its Top 10 Tax Planning Tips for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples. The guide provides a preliminary roadmap for same-sex married couples in the first year they will file taxes since the federal government officially recognized same-sex marriage for tax purposes.

Hyattsville Makes History

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 02 December 2013, the City of Hyattsville council voted unanimously to add a Human Rights Charter to city ordinances, strengthening protections against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or physical characteristics, in employment, housing, real estate transactions and public accommodations.
• Ordinance 2013-04: Hyattsville Human Rights Act PDF 1.90MB 05 DEC 13

Charlie Craig and David Mullins v. Masterpiece CakeShop

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 06 December 2013, Administrative Law Judge Robert N Spencer ruled that Masterpiece CakeShop unlawfully discriminated against Charlie Craig and David Mullins by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.
• Initial Decision: Charlie Craig and David Mullins v. Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc & Anor CR 2013-0008 PDF 266.58kb, 06 DEC 13

05 December 2013

Biological Versus Presumptive Mother in Same-Sex Relationship ­ Uniform Parentage Act

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 05 December 2013, the Court of Appeals found there was nothing in the Uniform Parentage Act that would prohibit a child from having two same-sex parents (a biological mother and a presumptive mother).
• Opinion: In re the Parental Responsibilities of A.R.L., a Child and Concerning Elizabeth Limberis and Sabrina Havens 2013COA170, No. 13CA0342 PDF 93.68kb, 05 DEC 13

04 December 2013

Same-sex inmate couple loses case to share same housing unit

CANADA, Saskatchewan: On 06 November 2013, Justice Mona Dovell of the Court of Queen's Bench in Saskatoon ruled that minimum-security inmates Jean Richer and Leslie Sinobert must ask Correctional Service Canada to determine if they can be in the same housing unit at the Riverbend Annex in Prince Albert, the Court process not being for the day-to-day management of a prison.
• Judgment: Jean Richer and Leslie Sinobert v. The Attorney General of Canada 2013 SKQB 397 PDF 128.00kb, 06 NOV 13

Constitutional Court dismisses complaint against St. Petersburg gay propaganda law

RUSSIA: On 04 December 2013, the Consititutional Court was reported to have dismissed the complaint of Nikolai Alekseyev against the St. Petersburg law prohibiting the propaganda of homosexuality among minors and the propaganda of paedophilia. It ruled that the law does not contradict the Russian Constitution.

03 December 2013

Louisiana National Guard latest to process same-sex benefits

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 03 December 2013, the Louisiana National Guard indicated that it will become the latest state to comply with a Defense Department directive to process spousal benefit applications for troops in same-sex marriages. Federal personnel will enroll all dependants of same-sex marriages, in benefits programs.

Douglas County to extend benefits to same-sex couples

UNITED STATES, Nebraska: On 03 December 2013, the Douglas County Board voted to change the definition of an eligible spouse so it can include someone who is the same gender as the employee. The new definition covers all benefits including health insurance.

Law change gives birth to a 'co-mother'

DENMARK: In June 2013 (quaere), the Children's Act was passed, giving lesbian couples the same parenting rights as heterosexual couples at the time of the child's birth. The woman not giving birth to the child will officially be registered as a 'co-mother', and will be granted the same parenting rights as fathers.

Mississippi Judge Refuses to Grant Same-Sex Couple's Divorce

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 02 December 2013, Desoto County Chancery Judge Mitchell Lundy refused to grant a divorce to lesbian couple Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon who got married in California in 2008, saying the marriage wasn't recognized under state law .

Virginia Bars Married Same-Sex Couples From Filing Taxes Jointly

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 08 November 2013, the Virginia Department of Taxation issued a bulletin affirming that the state will not conform to the US Internal Revenue Service's new tax treatment of same-sex married couples because state law and a state constitutional amendment prohibit recognition of gay marriage.
• Tax Bulletin 13-13: Virginia Income Tax Treatment of Same-Sex Marriage PDF 69.24kb, 08 NOV 13

02 December 2013

High Court reserves judgment on ACT law

AUSTRALIA, Australian Capital Territory: On 03 December 2013, the High Court reserved its judgment in the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 case until December 12, allowing same-sex couples planning to marry under the ACT legislation this weekend to go ahead.

Europe must react to escalation of human rights violations in Lithuania

LITHUANIA: On 24 November 2013, the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) voted to proceed with a consideration of an amendment to the country's Code of Administrative Offences - submitted by Petras Gražulis in May - that would limit freedom of association, assembly and expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people if it becomes law.

01 December 2013

Croatia Votes Against Same-Sex Marriage

CROATIA: On 01 December 2103, the state electoral commission, citing near complete results, said 65 percent of those who voted answered “yes” to the referendum question: “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?”. About 34 percent voted against. The result means that Croatia's constitution will be amended to ban same-sex marriage.

Court dismisses Louisiana marriage equality lawsuit

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 27 November 2013, US District Judge Martin Feldman in US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana dismissed the Jonathan P Robicheaux v. James D Caldwell lawsuit seeking marriage equality on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction. Attorneys say they'll amend the complaint to continue the litigation.
• Order and Reasons: Jonathan P Robicheaux v. James D Caldwell No. 13-cv-05090 PDF 606.63kb, 27 NOV 13

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