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March 2013

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31 March 2013

Two men jailed for prostitution in UAE

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.

29 March 2013

Transgender man told he cannot divorce wife

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 29 March 2013, Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach ruled that Arizona's ban on same-sex marriages prevents Thomas Beatie's nine-year marriage from being recognised as valid and there was no jurisdiction to approve a divorce, there being insufficient evidence that Mr Beatie was a man when he married.

28 March 2013

Kentucky overrules veto on bill protecting actions motivated by religious belief

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 26 March 2013, the House of Representatives and the Senate voted overwhelmingly to override Governor Beshear's veto, meaning House Bill 279 will pass into law, requiring state infringements on a personís religious belief to be justified by “compelling” interest for the law, rather than “reasonable” interest, assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Nigerian president pardons 'gay' man jailed for sodomy

NIGERIA: On 28 March 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan was reported to have pardoned Bello Magaji, a former military officer who was sentenced for sodomizing four teen boys.

27 March 2013

Arizona Transgender Bathroom Bill Reconsidered By Lawmakers

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 27 March 2013, the House committee voted 7–4 to advance SB 1045, the so-called “bathroom bill” with revisions to shield businesses from civil or criminal liability if they ban people from restrooms that don't match their birth sex.
Proposed House of Representatives Amendments to S.B. 1045 25 MAR 13

Marriage equality Bill hurtling to final vote

NEW ZEALAND: On 27 March 2013, a bid to amend the Marriage Equality Bill allowing blatant discrimination against GLBTI couples was voted down by Parliament and the Bill was been sent to its third reading with no amendments. The third reading is expected on 17 April.

26 March 2013

Bill to prohibit discussion of gay issues dies

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 26 March 2013, the House version of the “Don't Say Gay” bill died in the House Education Subcommittee for lack of a second. The measure sought to prohibit classroom discussion of anything other than natural reproduction. The Senate proposal, sought to give schools the authority to inform parents about children who talk to school officials about their sexuality.

3 couples challenge Utah same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 25 March 2013, Derek L. Kitchen and Moudi D. Sbeity, Karen Archer and Kate Call, Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge filed a complaint in the US District Court of Utah challenging Utah's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage .

Colorado Health Insurance Providers Can't Discriminate on Orientation, Gender Identity

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 18 March 2013, the Department of Regulatory Agencies issued a bulletin clarifying that health insurance providers in Colorado cannot discriminate against patients due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
• Bulletin No. B-4.49: Insurance Unfair Practices Act Prohibitions on Discrimination Based Upon Sexual Orientation PDF 123.5kb, 18 MAR 13

23 March 2013

Kentucky Governor vetoes bill protecting right to act based on religious belief following lobbies by LGBT rights groups

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 22 March 2013, Governor Steve Beshear vetoed House Bill 279, which proposed to give legal protection from prosecution to those who “act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief”. On 01 March 2013, the House passed the Bill 82–7, with 11 abstentions and it was due to go to the Senate.

22 March 2013

Gay 'cure' London bus advert ban ruled 'not illegal'

UNITED KINGDOM: On 22 March 2013, Mrs Justice Lang in the High Court ruled the banning of an advert from a Christian group saying 'Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!' was 'procedurally unfair, in breach of it's (Transport for London's) procedures and demonstrated a failure to consider the relevant issues', but was not unlawful as the ad would cause 'grave offence' to gay people, and would have increased 'the risk of prejudice and homophobic attacks'.
• Judgment: Core Issue Trust v. Transport for London [2013] EWHC 651 PDF 509.09kb 22 MAR 13

21 March 2013

ACLU-NM Files Lawsuit for the Freedom to Marry for Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 21 March 2013, the ACLU New Mexico filed a Complaint for Declarative and Injunctive Relief in the Second Judicial District Court on behalf of Rose Griego and Kimberley Kiel and Miriam Rand and Ona Porter, seeking the freedom to marry.
• Complaint for Declarative and Injunctive Relief: Rose Griego and Kimberley Kiel and Miriam Rand and Ona Porter v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver PDF 169.60kb, 21 MAR 13

Nevada Senate approves penalties for transgender crimes

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 21 March 2013, the Senate passed Bill SB139 in a 20–1 vote. The Bill now goes to the Assembly. If passed into law it would add “gender identity or expression” to the State hate crime statute.

Buncombe County adds domestic partner benefits

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 19 March 2013, Buncombe County commissioners voted 4-3 to begin offering benefits to the same-sex partners of county employees, allowing LGBT couples and their dependents access to health and life insurance, use of leave time and all entitlements under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Canada House passes transgender bill

CANADA, Ontario: On 20 March 2013, the House of Commons passed Bill C-279 in a 149–137 vote. The Bill now goes to the Senate. If passed into law it would make it unlawful to discriminate against transgender Canadians.

20 March 2013

Miami Dade's Bay Harbor Islands Town Approves Domestic Partnership Ordinance

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 11 March 2013, Bay Harbour Islands council passed an ordinance offering benefits to the same-sex partners of city employees, allowing LGBT couples and their dependents access to health insurance and other employment fringe benefits.
• Proposed Ordinance: Chapter 15 ½ Article VI Domestic Partnership and Family Coverage PDF 93.19kb

Puerto Rico Government signals support for gay adoption

PUERTO RICO: On 20 March 2013, Attorney General, Margarita Mercado, filed a motion in support of overturning a ban preventing same-sex couples from adopting children. A Motion of the Petitioner for Reconsideration was filed 06 March 2013 and on 08 March 2013, Lambda filed a brief in support.

Gay teen 'stoned to death' in Somalia

SOMALIA: On 15 March 2013, gay teenager Mohamed Ali Baashi ,18, was allegedly buried in a hole up to his chest and stoned to death.

Israel's health ministry to recognize gay couples as parents

ISRAEL: On 19 March 2013, the Health Ministry Implementation Committee adopted a court recommendation to recognize both members of gay couples as parents of children born with the aid of overseas surrogacy.

Historic Russian court ruling: gay pride is legal

RUSSIA: On 20 March 2013, the Civil Chamber of Kostroma Regional Court ruled illegal a ban on gay pride marches in the region and on two rallies against the local law prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality among minors, reversing a decision of Sverdlovsk District Court.

French Senate law commission backs gay marriage equality

FRANCE: On 20 March 2013, the Senate law commission approved the gay marriage legislation, to be voted on in the full Senate in 15 days time.

19 March 2013

50,000 sign petition in one day forcing lawmakers to consider equal marriage

FINLAND: After gathering 50,000 signatures in one day on a petition organised by Tahdon2013, lawmakers have been forced to reconsider an equal marriage bill rejected by the Legal Affairs Committee on 01 March.

State appeals court makes key ruling in Facebook gay hate case

UNITED STATES, Florida: The First District Court of Appeal found a statement on Timothy Ryan O'Leary's personal Facebook page which threatened death or serious bodily injury, constituted “sending” within the meaning and in violation of section 836.10, Florida Statutes.
• Opinion: Timothy Ryan O'Leary v. State of Florida 1D12-0975 PDF 34.9kb, 18 MAR 13

Gay conversion therapy ban passed by Senate committee New Jersey

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 18 March 2013, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee passed 7–1 with 2 abstentions, Bill S2278 that “protects minors by prohibiting counseling attempts to change sexual orientation”

Gay foreigners can take home India-born babies

INDIA: On 19 March 2013, the home ministry reportedly had decided to let babies – commissioned by gay and single foreigners after a July 2012 ban – to leave the country when they are born this year. Only heterosexual married couples are eligible for a medical visa to travel to India to commission surrogacy under the new visa rule.

Marriage Equality Already the Law in New Mexico, Santa Fe Officials Say

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: Sante Fe Mayor David Coss and other leaders want to pass a resolution urging county clerks to begin granting the licenses immediately as the statutory definition of marriage is gender-neutral in not defining marriage as between a man and a woman and there is no specific prohibition against same-sex marriage.

18 March 2013

Genital surgery no longer required for transgenders to change legal gender status: Korean court

KOREA: On 15 March 2013, the Seoul Western District Court ruled that persons who are transgender and have had their internal reproductive organs removed are now not required to undergo surgery to alter the appearance of their external sexual organs to be legally recognised as their prefered gender, accepting requests from five female-to-male transgender individuals to have their family register listing altered to be classified as male.

Vermont House passes same-sex health coverage bill

UNITED STATES, Vermont: On 15 March 2013, the House voted 139–5 in favour of Bill H. 315 (An act relating to group health coverage for same-sex spouses) to require out-of-state companies that offer health coverage to the spouses of opposite-sex married couples to provide the same benefits to same-sex couples.
H. 315 PDF 8.2kb

15 March 2013

Florida's Leon County Passes Domestic Partnership Registry

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 12 March, Leon County commissioners voted 7-0 to approve an Ordinance creating a county-wide Domestic Partner Registry, opening 01 May.
Proposed Ordinance 13 PDF 740.6kb

14 March 2013

Rhode Island Senate committee schedules hearing on marriage bill

UNITED STATES, Rhode Island: On 21 March 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the state and also consider a bill introduced by state Sen. Frank Ciccone (D-Providence) that would place the marriage bill before Rhode Island voters in 2014 if it were to become law.

HIV Disclosure and the Law

AUSTRALIA: There are different disclosure requirements between state and territory laws and there are two areas of the law – criminal law legislation and public law that need to be considered.
• See also: Australasian Society for HIV Medicine

High Court grants parental order to US same sex couple

UNITED KINGDOM: Mrs Justice Theis DBE in the High Court granted a parental order, finding male Californian domestic partners, Polish born A and American B, formerly of the US and now domiciled in the UK, have a child C born to an Indian surrogate who carried an embroyo fertilised with B's sperm, transfering parental responsibility from the birth mother.
• Judgment: A & B v. SA [2013] EWHC 426 (Fam) Word 73.0kb, 14 FEB 13

European Parliament calls for a ban on homophobic and transphobic hate crime/speech

EUROPEAN UNION: The European Parliament passed a resolution calling for criminalisation of homophobic and transphobic hate crime and speech across the European Union.
Joint Motion for a Resolution PDF 138kb, 11 MAR 13

13 March 2013

Marriage equality Bill passes second reading

NEW ZEALAND: The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its second reading by 77 votes to 44. The Bill needs to pass one more reading before being signed into law.

12 March 2013

4th Circuit strikes down Virginia's sodomy laws

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 12 March 2013, in a 2-1 decision the Supreme Court ruled the long-standing “Crimes against Nature” law, which criminalized anal and oral sex in Virginia unconstitutional.
• Opinion: MacDonald v. Tim Moose and Keith Holder 11-7427 PDF 139.36kb, 12 MAR 13

Colorado House Passes Civil Unions, Gov. Expected to Sign

UNITED STATES, Colorado: The House approved the Civil Union Act 39-26. With the Governor's signature, the Act will come into force 01 May.

Minnesota: Committee Sends Marriage Bill to Senate Floor

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: Senate Judiciary Committee passed the marriage equality bill 5-3. The full Senate will now consider the Bill.

11 March 2013

Private Club Fined for Transgender Discrimination

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On a plea, the Capital Club was ordered (by Judge H W Pollitt) in Franklin County Municipal Court (11 March 2013) to pay $1000 and costs to Savanna DeLong, 53, who said she was denied work after 12 years as a massage therapist when she told people in 2010 that she was transitioning from a man (Joseph Scott Delong) to a woman.

09 March 2013

Queen to sign new charter backing gay rights

UNITED KINGDOM: The Queen will sign the Charter setting out the “core values of the organisation and the aspiration of its members” agreed to by all Commonwealth heads of government in December and also give a speech endorsing the new agreement which states signatories oppose “all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds”.
• Commonwealth of Nations: Charter of the Commonwealth PDF 192.60kb, 14 DEC 12

08 March 2013

US State Department launches new online LGBT travel guide

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: The US State Department launched a new website 26 February 2013 designed to help LGBT travellers.
• US State Department: LGBT Travel Information

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians to Sign Same Sex Marriage Statute

UNITED STATES, Michigan: Tribal Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Dexter McNamara released a statement (07 March) saying he will sign the Same Sex Marriage Statute to allow same sex marriage.

Colorado civil unions bill heading to full House for vote

UNITED STATES, Colorado: The civil unions bill cleared the third and final committee (House Appropriations Committee) in a 9-4 vote and will now go before the full House for a vote next week.

Gender identity included in hate crime law in Greece

GREECE: Article 66 of the Penal Code has been amended to read “Performing an act motivated by nationalistic, racial or religious hatred, or hatred due to different sexual orientation or gender identity against a victim, is considered an aggravating circumstance and the sentence cannot be suspended”.

07 March 2013

Man 'guilty' of fraud for not telling girlfriend he was trans

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: Chris Wilson, a transgender Scottish man, admitted to obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud in failing to tell two teenage girls his gender history and real age. Judge Lord Bannatyne will sentence Wilson in the Edinburgh High Court after the court obtains reports.

Anti-Gay Slur 'Maricon' No Longer Protected Under Freedom of Speech Laws in Mexico

MEXICO: On 06 March 2013, the Supreme Court ruled 3–2 that anti-gay slurs like “maricon” and “puñal”, are offensive and discriminatory and no longer protected under the country's freedom of speech laws.

Michigan Judge Tells Lesbian Moms He Can't Help Until Supreme Court Rules

UNITED STATES, Michigan: U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said in April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors that he will wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide two gay marriage cases before ruling on whether Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional and the ban on adoptions by unmarried couples lawful.

06 March 2013

Ruling upheld that Scottish Catholic charity must accept adoption applications from gay couples

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator upheld the ruling that the St Margaretís Children and Family Care Society policy of excluding gay couples from their adoption system was unlawful discrimination. Subject to a right of appeal to the Scottish Charities Appeal Panel, non-compliance by 22 April could see the Society removed from the Scottish Charites Register.
• OCSR Report: St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society PDF 325kb, 05 MAR 13

Third American Indian tribe moves to allow same-sex marriage

UNITED STATES, Michigan: The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians tribal council has voted 5–4 to allow same-sex marriage under tribal law. If not vetoed by the tribal chairman, the tribe will become the third in the US to seek introduce marriage equality under its tribal laws.

05 March 2013

Lesbian Judge Pamela Chen Appointed to Federal Bench

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 04 March 2013, the US Senate confirmed Pamela K. Chen to be the first openly gay, Asian-American person to preside on a federal bench, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

04 March 2013

Argument against gay marriage in California hinges on accidental pregnancies

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: The Administration filed a brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry that rebuts “… the central argument that Proposition 8 advances an interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing because only heterosexual couples can produce “unintended pregnancies” and because the “overriding purpose” of marriage is to address that reality by affording a stable institution for procreation and child-rearing …”.
• Brief: Brief for the United States as amicus curiae supporting respondents PDF 182.78kb, 28 FEB 13

Old Homosexuality Laws Still Hang Over Many in Germany

GERMANY: Convictions under Germany's pre and post World War II laws remain extant, despite homosexuality having been decriminalised.

Court grants extended time for DOMA arguments

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: The Supreme Court announced it would grant extended time for oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, with 50 minutes devoted to jurisdictional issues and 60 minutes devoted to the merits.

Those in civil partnerships need to be aware of what happens to wills

UNITED KINGDOM: On entering a civil partnership all Wills are generally immediately revoked. To ensure that the surviving partner is protected when the other one dies, make a new Will.

01 March 2013

Second largest city overturns local ban on 'gay propaganda'

MOLDOVA: On 28 February 2013, the Balti Court of Appeals struck down a local ban on what authorities had referred to as “homosexual propaganda” ruling that the ban was unconstitutional and violated human rights.

Finland votes against gay marriage

FINLAND: On 27 February 2013, the parliamentary legal committee voted 9-8 against a same-sex marriage bill.

Gay Ugandan couple to remain in Sweden

SWEDEN: On 28 February 2013, the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) granted Lawrence Kaala Swedish residency, reversing a previous order to leave the country after his application for asylum was denied. Kaala married Jimmy Sserwadda late January. In granting Kaala's permit, the Migration Board waived the usual requirement that resident permit applications based on marriage be filed from the person's home country.

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