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May 2013

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31 May 2013

Appeals court reinstates HIV-related charge against equestrian star

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 31 May 2013, Judge William D Palmer for the 5th District Court of Appeal reinstated a felony charge against Olympic equestrian star Darren Chiacchia, who is accused of failing to notify a (male) sex partner that he was HIV positive, rejecting the argument that “sexual intercourse”, for purposes of the statute, was defined as the female sex organ being penetrated by the male sex organ. Since the 5th DCA's opinion directly conflicts with that of the 2nd DCA, the Florida Supreme Court has been notified and could choose to resolve the conflict and provide a clear precedent.
• Opinion: State of Florida v. D.C. 5D11-3311 PDF 19.76kb, 31 MAY 13

Sexless activist wins appeals verdict to recognize third sex in Australian state

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 31 May 2013, an Australian person who is neither male nor female won an appeals verdict in the New South Wales Court of Appeal after the New South Wales state Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages issued norrie mAy-Welby with a certificate declaring norrie 'sex not specified' and then withdrew it.
• Judgment: Norrie v NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages [2013] NSWCA 145 PDF 342.92kb, 31 MAY 13

Judge Rules for Florida GSA

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 30 May 2013, a federal judge upheld the right of a gay-straight alliance to meet at a middle school in Leesburg in compliance with an agreement reached late last month that allowed the group to meet until the end of the school year.

Maine High Court: NOM Must Disclose Donors

UNITED STATES, Maine: On 30 May 2013, Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a ruling by the Kennebec County Superior Court that the National Organization for Marriage cannot withhold the names of donors to its 2009 effort to repeal a marriage equality law in Maine.
• Judgment: National Organization for Marriage v. Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices 2013 ME 52 PDF 98.88kb, 30 MAY 13

Tucson moving toward recognizing civil unions

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 29 May 2013, under a unanimous Tucson City Council decision, an ordinance will be prepared for a council vote this summer providing civil-union certificates to couples who cannot marry and allowing them to record contracts defining their relationships.

30 May 2013

New web censorship rule bans gay content in Singapore

SINGAPORE: On 01 June 2013, the new Media Development Authority (MDA) rule requires local news websites and those that report regularly on Singapore and get at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore over two months, to apply for an individual license and prohibits those sites from having content 'material [that] advocates homosexuality or lesbianism, or depicts or promotes incest, pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia'.

Nigerian parliament bans same-sex marriage

NIGERIA: On 30 May 2013, the House of Representatives passed a Bill adopted by the Senate in 2011 making same-sex marriage unlawful and setting jail terms of up to 14 years for offenders. The bill also envisages prison sentences up to 10 years for anyone who participates in gay clubs or organisations.

29 May 2013

Louisiana bill would block gay couples from surrogate parenting

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 30 May 2013, the Senate Conference Committe Report voted 32-3 to adopt Senate Bill 162 (introduced on 08 April 2013). The Bill would if signed into law block gay, and unmarried couples from being able to become parents by using surrogates, by requiring that all parents using such a process, are married. The House is to debate the Bill on 02 June.

Serbia to consider giving gay couples legal rights

SERBIA: On 29 May 2013, the Serbian Parliament reportedly would consider a draft law on 04 June to give the right of inheritance and hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners who live in a long-term union.

Puerto Rico Governor Signs Local ENDA, Domestic Violence Bills

PUERTO RICO: On 29 May 2013, Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed into law an employment nondiscrimination act protecting LGBT Puerto Ricansfrom discrimination in employment. Padilla also signed a law that extends domestic violence protections and services to gay and lesbian couples.

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28 May 2013

Christians who refused to work with gays lose final court case

FRANCE, Strasbourg: On 28 May 2013, a Grand Chamber panel of five judges of the European Court of Human Rights decided to reject the requests pending before it to refer ten cases to the Grand Chamber including Eweida and Others v. the United Kingdom, therefore the 15 January 2013 judgment affirming that the right to act in accordance with one's religion may be limited in order to protect others from discrimination based on sexual orientation stands.
• ECtHR Press Release: Ten requests for referral to the Grand Chamber rejected PDF 175.74kb 28 February 2013

As courts define same-sex harassment, beware behavior that crosses a line

UNITED STATES, New York: On 25 February 2013, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals provided some employer guidance in a case involving male-on-male harassment.
• Summary Order: Jeffrey A Barrows v. Seneca Foods Corporation No. 12-970 PDF 18.91kb 25 February 2013

27 May 2013

The Top 10 Arguments Against Gay Marriage: All Receive Failing Grades!

UNITED STATES:On 27 May 2013, GayMarriageUSA published a summary of the Top 10 most common arguments against same-sex marriage, outlining why each one deserves a failing grade.

24 May 2013

Puerto Rico House Approves Antidiscrimination Bill

PUERTO RICO: On 24 May 2013, the House of Representatives passed a comprehensive LGBT rights bill, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, governmental services, public accommodations, and private entities, and a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity provisions to the territory's domestic violence law.

Judge Won't Toss Benefits for Same-Sex Partners

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 21 May 2013, Judge Patrick Garcia of the 384th District Court in Carl Starr v. Veronica Escobar, Case No. 2013DCV1713, refused to issue a temporary injunction against an ordinance allowing the provision of health care benefits to the same-sex partners of El Paso County employees.

23 May 2013

Kyiv Pride banned again

UKRAINE, Kyiv: On 23 May 2013, the Kyiv Administrative Court banned all events planned for 25 May that includes Kyiv Pride and all counter-demonstrations. Despite the ban Kyiv had its first gay pride when approximately 50 people marched on 25 May.

Boy Scouts of America votes to end ban on gay members age 18 and under

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 23 May 2013, 61.4% of the 1,400-member National Council of the Boy Scouts of America voted to pass new membership standards effective 01 January 2014, that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone'.

Nevada Takes Another Step Toward Marriage Equality

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 23 May 2013, the Assembly approved a pro-equality constitutional amendment by a vote of 27-14. Both houses will vote on it again in the 2015 legislative session, and if they approve it in exactly the same form, it will go before voters in 2016.

22 May 2013

Council of Europe demands that Russia protect gay rights

RUSSIA, Moscow: On 22 May 2013, in a press conference held in Moscow, Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland demanded that Russia must act to guarantee the right of LGBT people to freedom of expression and demonstration, a fundamental principle in the European Convention on Human Rights, of which Russia is a signatory.

2 Moroccans Tried For Homosexuality Get 4 Months

MOROCCO: On 20 May 2013, the Temara Court convicted two men, aged 28 and 19, of homosexuality and public indecency and sentenced each to four months in prison. They were allegedly caught having sex in a car and arrested. The men denied the charges. On 06 May 2013, the daily al-Akhbar reported that three Moroccans from the northern town of Souq al-Arbaa recently received three years in prison (and a fine of 1000 dirhams) for homosexuality.

Bisbee council approves new civil unions measure

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 21 May 2013, the Bisbee City Council voted 5-2 to formally propose a scaled-back version of the ordinance that would legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. That sets the stage for a 04 June vote by the council on whether to approve the measure. Under the new version, people entered into civil unions recognized only within the city of Bisbee could file contractual statements spelling out their agreed-upon “rights, obligations and expectations” in matters such as inheritances, property ownership and children.

Lifetime ban on blood donations by gay men lifted in Canada

CANADA: On 22 May 2013, Dr Dana Devine Vice President, Medical, Scientific & Research Affairs at Canadian Blood Services reportedly announced that men who have not had sex with other men within the last five years will be allowed to donate blood as part of new guidelines to take effect 22 July.

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21 May 2013

Fifth gay federal judge confirmed

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 02 May 2013, the US Senate gave voice vote approval to Michael McShane to serve on the U.S. District Court for Oregon. In addition to McShane, the others confirmed thus far include Paul Oetken and Alison Nathan in Manhattan, Michael Fitzgerald in Los Angeles, Pamela Chen in Brooklyn.

Governor signs transgender hate crimes bill into law

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 21 May 2013, Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 139 into law. The new law adds a person's “gender identity or expression” to the list of motivating factors interpreted as a hate crime. Defendants face up to an additional 20 years in prison for the motivation.

Same sex marriage bill clears Commons

UNITED KINGDOM: On 21 May 2013, the House of Commons passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at third reading 366 votes to 161. The Bill now goes to the House of Lords.

20 May 2013

Minnesota Antibullying Bill Dies in Senate

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 19 May 2013, the Senate failed to take up the comprehensive Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act [HF 826] that advocates say would have protected students from harassment and bullying. The Bill was passed by the House 72-57 on 06 May 2013.

18 May 2013

Lesbian forced from partner, two kids by Texas judge's 'morality clause'

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 07 May 2013, Judge John Roach in the 296th District Court imposed a 'morality clause' in a custody dispute ordering that anyone who isn't related by 'blood or marriage' can't be around Carolyn Compton's children past 9 pm, effectively forcing her partner Page Price to leave the home within 30 days.

French president signs gay marriage into law

FRANCE, Paris: On 18 May 2013, President Francois Hollande signed same-sex marriage legislation into law. Same-sex couples will be able to marry starting 28 May. The legislation also legalises gay adoption.

17 May 2013

Portugal Approves Adoption Rights for Same-Sex Spouses

PORTUGAL: On 17 May 2013, Parliament approved 99-94 with 9 abstentions, a measure that allows one spouse the right to adopt the other's biological or adopted children. However, another proposal, which would have let same-sex couples adopt jointly, was defeated.

France's Same-Sex Marriage Legislation Ruled Constitutional

FRANCE, Paris: On 17 May 2013, the Constitutional Court rejected legal challenges to legislation that grants same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children, clearing the legal text for passage into law by President François Hollande, who said he would do so on Saturday.

16 May 2013

Pentagon recognizes transgender service members for first time in 'symbolic' move for LGBT community

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 02 May 2013, in a letter to Autumn Sandeen the Pentagon confirmed that the Navy had updated its records to show she is a woman. The 'symbolic' move is regarded as a significant step toward more open service.

Puerto Rico Senate approves non-discrimination bill

PUERTO RICO, San Juan: On 16 May 2013, the Senate approved 15-11 Bill SB238 that would ban anti-LGBT discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and government services in the US territory. SB 238 will now go to the House of Representatives.

Benefits for Gay Vets Bill Moves to Connecticut Governor

UNITED STATES, Connecticut: On 16 May, the House of Representatives voted 134-0 in favor of legislation (Substitute for SB 70) making veterans eligible for state benefits if they have been denied federal benefits solely because of their sexual orientation. The veteran’s federal benefits must have also been reinstated. The Bill was sent to the Governor.

Anti-trans marriage law gains Senate approval

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 14 May 2013, the Senate passed SB 1218, a Bill that would prevent people from obtaining a licence with a document that lacks photographic identification and dramatically affect transgender residents seeking a marriage licence. The Bill still needs to pass both a House panel and the full chamber by Tuesday 21 May.
• Bill SB 1218 Relating to the proof of an applicant's identity and age required for the issuance of a marriage license 06 MAR 13

Bill to recognise overseas same-sex marriages introduced

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 16 May 2013, the Greens introduced the “Marriage Act Amendment (Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013” into the Senate. Were it to become law, same-sex marriages from overseas would be recognised in Australia.
• Bill: Marriage Act Amendment (Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013 16 MAY 13

15 May 2013

ILGA's State-Sponsored Homophobia Report 2013

SWITZERLAND, Geneva: On 15 May 2013, ILGA launched its 2013 issue of the state-sponsored homophobia report, a world survey of laws on criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love.
• Report: State-Sponsored Homophobia 2013 PDF 3.33MB 15 MAY 13

Landmark case for intersex rights: parents sue over surgery

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 14 May 2013, Mark and Pam Crawford, the adoptive parents of an intersex child MC, filed lawsuits in both State and Federal Courts against a South Carolina hospital and the social services department for performing 'irreversible and medically unnecessary' surgery.
• Summons: M.C. v. Medical University of South Carolina 2013CP400-2877 PDF 2.64MB, 14 MAY 13
• Complaint: M.C. v. Aaronson 2:13-cv-01303-DCN PDF 193.98kb, 14 MAY 13

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14 May 2013

Brazilian Judiciary Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage

BRAZIL: On 14 May 2013, the National Judicial Council approved by a vote of 14-1 a resolution saying that civil registrars will be “obligated” to convert stable unions between two people of the same sex into marriages, if that is requested, and that they will not be able to refuse to marry gay couples. Any civil registrar refusing to perform a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple could be subject to disciplinary action by the CNJ.

Assembly passes transgender hate crime bill

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 14 May 2013, the Assembly passed SB 139 that would add “gender identity or expression” to the list of motivations deemed to be hate crimes on a 30-11 vote, with only Republicans opposed. The bill already cleared the Senate and now heads to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Parliament drops gay anti-discrimination bill as hundreds protest against it

UKRAINE: On 14 May 2013, a bill to protect gay Ukrainian workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation was reportedly postponed indefinitely by the parliament, as hundreds of anti-gay protesters gathered to demonstrate against it.

Benefits approved for same-sex partners of MPs

ITALY: On 14 May 2013, Italy's Parliament approved a rule which will allow gay MPs to extend their healthcare benefits to their partners. Deputy Alessandro Zan called for the wide application of the same principle to all same-sex couples in Italy, saying that it should not be limited just to government employment.

History made in Italy as Milan recognizes UK civil partnership

ITALY, Milan: On 14 May 2013, a local court in Milan was reported to have recognized the British civil partnership between Cristian and Federico enabling them to be added to the Milan's Registro delle Unioni Civili and apply for local benefits and local welfare.

13 May 2013

Hong Kong transgender woman wins right to marry

HONG KONG: On 13 May 2013, the Court of Final Appeal, ruling 4-1 in W v. Registrar of Marriages, found that the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights protected the right to marry and allowing a transgender woman to marry her boyfriend.
• Judgment: W v. Registrar of Marriages FACV No. 4 of 2012 Word 135.0kbkb, 13 MAY 13

Minnesota Senate Clears Way for Same-Sex Marriage

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 13 May 2013, the Senate voted 37-30 to allow same-sex marriage. Gov. Mark Dayton said he would sign the bill on Tuesday afternoon.

12 May 2013

AG eases parenthood process for same-sex couples

ISRAEL: On 12 May 2013, Attorney General Yehudi Weinstein reportedly ruled that pending the finalization of proper legislation, family courts will be able to issue a court order recognizing a non-biological father's parenthood following a genetic test proving the parenthood of the biological father of children conceived through a surrogacy process and other conditions to be further elaborated in future legislation, without the previous need for a lengthy and complex adoption process.

10 May 2013

Brazil to allow in-vitro fertilization for same-sex couples

BRAZIL: On 09 May 2013, the Federal Medical Council was reported to have issued a clarifying decree guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to access assisted fertilization.

09 May 2013

Miami Beach Passes Tax Ordinance for Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 09 May 2013, Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed a Tax Equity Ordinance to reimburse City employees who are in domestic partnerships and are being taxed on the payments they make on their health insurance benefits. The final ordinance goes up for second reading and final passage on June 8.

Bill would allow discrimination in college student groups

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 09 May 2013, the Senate passed Bill S719 which would if passed by the House and signed into law, prohibit public institutions in the University of North Carolina System and the state's community colleges from enforcing their non-discrimination policies among student group leadership.

Mayor signs LGBT rights legislation, wants Philadelphia to be 'most LGBT-friendly' in world

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 09 May 2013, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed legislation offering tax credits to companies that extend the same health care coverage to LGBT employees' domestic partners and their children as well as requiring gender-neutral bathrooms in newly constructed city-owned buildings, revising anti-discrimination law to include transgender people, extending decision-making rights to life partners on medical and other issues.

June date for same-sex marriage vote

AUSTRALIA, Canberra: On 09 May 2013, Greens MP Adam Bandt was calling for his bill (Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2012) to be voted on Friday June 6.

Minnesota House Approves Marriage Equality 75-59

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 09 May 2013, the House of Representatives approved bill HF 1054 legalizing marriage equality in a 75-59 vote. The bill will likely be heard by the full state Senate next week.

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07 May 2013

Uruguay Gay Marriage Law Set To Take Effect August 1

URUGUAY: On 03 May 2013, President Jose Mujica and Ricardo Ehrlich, the nation's minister of education and culture, promulgated the “Marriage Equality Law” with their signatures. The law is to take effect on 01 August.

Gay couple arrested in Zambia under new law

ZAMBIA: On 07 May 2013, Zambian police were reported to have arrested James Mwape (20) and Philip Mubiana (21) from the northern town of Kapiri Mposhi under tough new anti-gay laws. The men are said to have been living together for some time and have been charged with the offence of sodomy or having sex against the order of nature contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Delaware legalizes gay marriage

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 07 May 2013, Bill HB75 legalizing same-sex unions passed the state Senate on a 12 to 9 vote and was signed by Governor Jack Markell. The law comes into effect 01 July 2013, when existing civil unions will cease to exist and be converted to marriages by July 2014.

05 May 2013

Albania passes landmark gay hate crime laws

ALBANIA: On 04 May 2013, the Parliament amended Article 50 (j) of the criminal code to strictly punish a crime 'when the offense is committed due to reasons related to gender, race, color, ethnicity, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health status, genetic predisposition, or disability'. Article 119 (a) adds a new crime to the list of offenses that is the 'distribution of racist, homophobic or xenophobic materials through systems of communication and information technology'.

03 May 2013

With same-sex marriage now available, state to end benefits for domestic partners

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 03 May 2013, it was reported that the O'Malley administration had notified state employees in same-sex relationships that they won't be able to include domestic partners in their health insurance after 01 January 2014 (date subject to change). If they want coverage, they'll have to get married.

Iowa Supreme Court rules that birth certificates must name both same-sex parents

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 03 May 2013, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Heather Martin Gartner and Melissa Gartner v. Iowa Department of Public Health that the department of health in the state must name both same-sex spouses as parents, on a child’s birth certificate.
• Opinion: Heather Martin Gartner and Melissa Gartner v. Iowa Department of Public Health No. 12-0243 PDF 151.16kb, 03 MAY 13

02 May 2013

'Impersonating a woman' decriminalized in Samoa

SAMOA: On 01 May 2013, the Crimes Act 2013 commenced, replacing the Crimes Ordinance 1961 which criminalized 'the impersonation of a female' by any male in Samoa. The law was used to persecute fa'afafine with fines or imprisonment as the penalty.
Crimes Act 2013 PDF 561.76kb, 26 APR 13

Same-sex benefits for state employees stand as Michigan Supreme Court rejects Schuette appeal request

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 01 May 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected (7-1) a request by Attorney General Bill Schuette to reconsider a Court of Appeals decision (in Attorney-General v. Civil Service Commission & Ors) allowing same-sex domestic partnership benefits for state employees.

Rhode Island Legalizes Gay Marriage

UNITED STATES, Rhode Island: On 02 May 2013, the House voted 56-15 to pass the marriage equality Bill S 38 which was signed into law by Governor Lincoln D. Chafee shortly after.

01 May 2013

Court grants Ugandan lesbian refugee status after family killed due to her sexuality

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: On 30 April 2013, the Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favour of a 27-year-old Ugandan woman, stating that it was highly likely that she would face persecution because of her sexual orientation if she was repatriated.

Three more Brazilian states allowing same-sex marriage

BRAZIL: On 26 April 2013, the Judicial Administrative Department (Corregedor Geral de Justiça) in Rondônia ruled to authorize marriage equality for same-sex couples, as did justices in Paraíba and Santa Catarina on 29 April 2013.

Same-sex marriage legislation clears Delaware Senate committee, vote expected Tuesday

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 01 May 2013, legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Delaware (HB 75) cleared the Senate Executive Committee (4 of 6 members voting favourably), paving the way for a final legislative vote on the measure Tuesday (07 May).

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