GayLawNews™

April 2014

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30 April 2014

New Hampshire House clarifies gay marriage law

UNITED STATES, New Hampshire: On 30 April 2014, the House voted 217-119 to send Bill SB394 to the Governor. The Bill recognizes gay marriages that took place in other states prior to New Hampshire enacting its gay marriage law, civil unions, and adopts gender neutral references.

29 April 2014

Department of Education: Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 29 April 2014, the Department of Education issued guidance clarifying that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits (sexual violence and) discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal funding, prohibits discrimination against transgender students.
• Guidelines: Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence PDF 867.31kb, 29 APR 14

28 April 2014

US Navy transgender sailor discharged for transitioning at work

UNITED STATES: On 28 April 2014, transgender communications specialist sailor Landon Williams reportedly was forcefully discharged by the US Navy in December 2013 after superiors discovered he had transitioned to be a male. The US Defense Department still retains a policy that was set when being transgender was viewed as a form of mental illness and classes it as a 'paraphilia'.

26 April 2014

Stay voids 3 legal same-sex marriages in Tennessee

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 25 April 2014, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio granted a stay of US District Court Judge Aleta A.Trauge's 14 March order in “Valeria Tanco & Ors. v. William E Haslam & Ors. ”.

25 April 2014

Quebec quits publishing addresses of transgender people seeking name changes

CANADA, Quebec: On 25 April 2014, the Province reportedly has recognised that being transgender is a reason to keep personal details of those seeking a legal name change from being publicly published. The Directeur de l'état civil may still publish notices when name changes are approved for transgender people to include the applicant's former and new names as well as their birthday, but not their street address.

Transgender ID change won't require surgery

CANADA, Manitoba: On 25 April 2014, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced proposed changes to the Vital Statistics Act enabling people to change their officially listed gender without undergoing reassignment surgery.

Judge rules Oaxaca, Mexico ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

MEXICO: On 25 March 2014, a judge in the Supreme Court reportedly ruled Oaxaca state's ban on same-sex couples marrying to be unconstitutional, being in violation of Article 1, and also found it to be in violation of Article 143 of the country's Civil Code. The case was brought by 39 gay and lesbian Mexicans.

Alaska Supreme Court Rules That State Tax Law Treats Same-Sex Families Unfairly

UNITED STATES, Alaska: On 25 April 2014, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the State had violated Alaska's equal protection clause unconstitutionally discriminating against same-sex couples by denying them equal access to a property tax exemption for senior citizens and disabled veterans.
• Opinion: State of Alaska & Anor. v. Julie A Schmidt & Ors. No. S-14521 PDF 236.37kb, 25 APR 14

Board approves sexual orientation, gender identity protections

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 24 April 2014, the Millwaukee County Board voted 12-6 in favor of adding sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the county's anti-discrimination ordinance.

24 April 2014

Judge in same-sex divorce case rules Texas gay marriage ban unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 22 April 2014, Judge Barbara Nellermoe in the 45th District Court ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, ”paving the way for a San Antonio couple's divorce proceedings and subsequent child custody battle to continue”. On 24 April 2014, the 4th Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay requested by Attorney-General Greg Abbott.
• Order: A.L.F.L. v. K.L.L. No. 2014-CI-02421 PDF 216.64kb, 22 APR 14
• Stay Order: In Re State of Texas No. 04-14-00282-CV PDF 82.05kb, 24 APR 14

23 April 2014

Transgender issues: Alberta judge rules law violates rights

CANADA, Alberta: On 22 April 2014, Justice Brian Burrows in the Court of Queen's Bench ruled that the law requiring transgender persons to have reassignment surgery before they can change the sex on their birth certificates violates their rights, giving the government 30 days to issue a new birth certificate to the applicant [C.F.], a 23-year-old [MtF] transgender woman.
• Judgment: C.F. v. Alberta (Vital Statistics) 2014 ABQB 237 PDF 254.35kb, 22 APR 14

Gay Muslim Indian man granted refugee status in Australia

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 23 April 2014, a gay Muslim man from India was reported to have been granted asylum in Australia, following a 28 January 2014 Refugee Review Tribunal ruling that if the man returned to India it was 'reasonable to believe he would be assaulted and probably forced to marry, and if he were to refuse he would probably face more serious harm and be killed' by his homophobic relatives.
• Decision: RRT Case Number 1213081 [2014] RRTA 75, 28 JAN 14

Gay workplace discrimination case dropped in Singapore

SINGAPORE: On 21 April 2014, Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San withdrew his High Court workplace harassment appeal and application to declare unconstitutional discrimination at work on the basis of “sexual orientation”.

22 April 2014

Brunei delays punishing gay sex with death by stoning

BRUNEI: On 22 April 2014, the proposed law introducing death by stoning for homosexuality, adultery, rape, and declaring oneself to be non-Muslim was reportedly temporarily delayed. The United Nations human rights office has appealed to Brunei to hold off on introducing the new penal code.

Gay couple arrested, fined for kissing in Mexico

MEXICO, Baja California Sur: On 20 April 2014, Jorge, 24, and Alan, 26, were arrested and allegedly 'violently' forced into a van being accused of 'disturbing the peace' by police officers as they kissed on a street corner at around 10pm in La Paz. They were released after paying a fine of 300 pesos each ($23, €17).

21 April 2014

Indian paramilitary force accepts first transgender cadets

INDIA, Tamil Nadu: On 21 April 2014, six transgender Indian women, or hijras, were reported to have become the first of their kind to be accepted as cadets in the paramilitary Home Guards in the city of Madurai where they are undergoing training as part of a pilot program to better integrate LGBTI people into the Indian mainstream.

18 April 2014

Law to protect women helps gays too

UNITED STATES: On 18 April 2014, it was argued that as the federal “Violence Against Women Act” provides that where grants to agencies that deal with victims of sexual assaults are made, recipients may not discriminate in their hiring on the basis of “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability”. There is a limited exception for necessary “sex-specific programming” and religious agencies, consistent with the “Religion Freedom Restoration Act” may prefer members of their own faith in hiring but may not discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Ugandan men to go on trial on homosexuality charges

UGANDA: On 16 April 2014, prosecutors announced that the trial of Kim Mukisa (24) and Jackson Mukasa (19), two men charged under the 1950 Penal Code Act of homosexuality who have been held in Luzior prison since December, will commence on 07 May. The men who have denied the charges, face life imprisonment.

17 April 2014

Alberta to recognize validity of same-sex marriages

CANADA, Alberta: On 17 March 2014, although the federal government made same-sex marriages legal in 2005, the Albert Government is reportedly to introduce legislation to amend the Marriage Act to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages. There will also be changes to allow transgender persons to change their birth certificates without having to first undergo gender reassignment surgery.

16 April 2014

Ethiopia: Bill to make gay sex a non-pardonable offence dropped

ETHOPIA: On 16 April 2014, Government spokesman Redwan Hussein was reported to have told Associated Press that the plan to make gay sex a non-pardonable offence had been dropped.

Arbitrator rules in favor of two gay state employee couples

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 03 March 2014, ahead of a federal judge's same-sex marriage ruling, Labor arbitrator Sarah Rudolph Cole decided against the state denial of bereavement leave and in favor of gay and lesbian state employees Federico Reyes and Michael Rose and Kelly Hedglin and Bonnie Bish, who were legally married out of state.
• Opinion and Award: Ohio Civil Service Employees Association and State of Ohio, Public Utilities Commision of Ohio and Department of Commerce No. 1129 Grievance Nos. 07-00-201217-0019-01-14 and 26-00-20130327-02-01-07 PDF 300.99kb, 03 MAR 14

LGBTI youth win discrimination case against Christian group

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 16 April 2014, the Supreme Court of Victoria upheld 2-1 a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision that a youth group (Cobaw Community Health Services) was discriminated against by Christian Youth Camps Ltd - who refused access to accommodation due to the sexual orientation of its attendees - and exemptions in the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 that allow religious groups to discriminate in certain circumstances did not apply.
• Judgment: Cobaw Community Health Services v Christian Youth Camps Ltd & Anor [2014] VSCA 75 16 APR 14

15 April 2014

In child custody disputes, LGBT parents face bias in the courts, review finds

UNITED STATES: In March 2014, a Drexel University review, entitled “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Determination of Child Custody: The Changing Legal Landscape and Implications for Policy and Practice” was published, suggesting that courts, legislators and other policymakers take into account the research on gay parenting when making decisions regarding custody of children for gay and lesbian parents and parental rights.
• Review: Lesbian and Gay Parents and Determination of Child Custody: The Changing Legal Landscape and Implications for Policy and Practice PDF 99.27kb, 14 APR 14

Brunei will stone you if you have gay sex from next week

BRUNEI-DARUSSALAM: On 15 April 2014, it was reported that Brunei had adopted a new penal code effective 22 April calling for death by stoning for several crimes, including homosexuality, adultery, rape, and declaring oneself to be non-Muslim. Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited.

14 April 2014

Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as 'third gender'

INDIA: On 14 April 2014, the Supreme Court that “third gender” status for hijras or transgenders must be recognised, and they must provided with special facilities and services and not discriminated against.
• Judgment: National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India and others No. 400 of 2012 PDF 356.45kb, 15 APR 14

Same sex unions approved - Celebrations in Valletta - Opposition abstains because of adoptions

MALTA: On 14 April 2014, Parliament approved the civil unions law, the opposition abstaining because the bill included child adoptions by gay couples. Parliament also approved a constitutional amendment moved by the opposition for gay people to be protected from discrimination. The amendment was approved by all present.

" Federal judge strikes down Ohioís ban on recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 14 April 2014, US District Court Judge Timothy S Black ruled Ohio's marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances. The Court STAYS enforcement of the Order and the Permanent Injunction until the parties have briefed whether or not the Court should fully stay its Orders until completion of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
• Order: Brittani Henry, et al., v. Lance Himes, et al. 1:14-cv-00129 PDF 175.91kb, 14 APR 14

10 April 2014

Three Married Couples Challenge North Carolinaís Gay Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 09 April 2014, three married lesbian couples filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina challenging North Carolina's ban on gay marriage. One partner in each of the couples is suffering from an urgent medical condition.
• Complaint: Ellen W Gerber, Pearl Berlin et. al. v. Roy Cooper et. al. PDF 343.23kb, 09 APR 14

Federal Judge Orders Indiana To Recognize Terminally Ill Woman's Same-Sex Marriage

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 09 April 2014, Chief Judge Richard Young in the US District Court Southern District of Indiana granted a 28-day injunction ordering the state to immediately recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who married last year in Massachusetts, and are raising two children. Quasney has been fighting stage four ovarian cancer for over five years.

Minnesota governor signs anti-bullying bill that covers LGBT students

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 09 April 2014, Governor Mark Dayton signed HF No. 826, the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act (passed 69-63 by the House 08 April) into law, specifically including LGBT students and requiring school districts to train staff on how to recognize and prevent bullying.

Wall passes unique bill on behalf of woman

NEW ZEALAND: On 09 April 2014, the unique Sullivan Birth Certificate Bill passed the parliament enabling Rowen Helen Louise Sullivan - born 23 February 1993 in the UK by invitro fertilisation to Diane Sullivan and her New Zealand partner Doreen Shields - to have Doreen Margaret Shields, her co-parent's name included on her birth certificate. Rowen was formally adopted by Ms Shields in January last year following the death of Sullivan however, the adoption required the removal of Ms Sullivan's name from Rowen's post-adoption birth record.
• Bill: Sullivan Birth Certificate Bill Bill 139-2 PDF 158.87kb, 16 DEC 13

09 April 2014

Italian court recognises gay marriage for first time

ITALY, Tuscany: On 09 April 2014, Judge Claudio Boccini in the Grosseto Court ordered the city council register of married couples include gay couple Giuseppe Chigiotti and Stefano Bucci as being married, there being no reference to gender in the register. The couple married in New York in 2012.

08 April 2014

Nigeria: Same Sex Marriage Suit - Court Fixes April 28 for Hearing

NIGERIA: On 08 April 2014, it was reported that Justice Abdul Kafarati in the Federal High Court had set 28 April for hearing the challenge to the constitutionality of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013, filed by Teriah Joseph Ebah on 13 March.

07 April 2014

UK: Campaigners welcome legislation of HIV self-testing kits

UNITED KINGDOM: On 06 April 2014, the selling of self-testing kits for HIV (also called HIV home-testing) became legal in the UK. No kits that have been approved that meet European standards are available for sale yet. It's likely that the first kit will be available by late 2014 or early 2015. Until now it was illegal in the UK to do an HIV test at home and read the result yourself. HIV-postal test kits required a sample saliva or blood from a finger-prick, be sent to a laboratory for testing, with results given by text message or a phone call from a healthcare worker.

Judge Rules Against Anti-Gay Marriage Effort in Legal Fight Over Missouri Taxes

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 04 April 2014, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem denied a Temporary Restraining Order motion seeking to prevent same-sex couples claiming marital status from filing joint taxation returns. The cause was set down for hearing on 02 May.
• Order: Kerry Messer, et al. v. Jeremiah W. Nixon, et al. 14AC-CC00009 PDF 113.31kb, 04 APR 14

Egyptian Court Sentences 4 Gay Men to Prison for 'Debauchery'

EGYPT: On 07 April 2014, an Egyptian court reportedly used a law banning “debauchery” to sentence four gay men to prison - three for eight years, one for three - for throwing “deviant parties” and wearing women's clothing. The “habitual practice of debauchery” is a term the Egyptian legal system uses to denote consensual homosexual acts.

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Over Gay Bias Case

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 07 April 2014, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Elane Photography, a studio that refused to photograph lesbian couple Vanessa Willock and her partner 's commitment ceremony, letting stand a New Mexico high court ruling that helped spur a national debate over gay rights and religious freedom.
• Certiorari Denied: Elane Photography v. Willock, Vanessa 13-585 PDF 90.84kb, 07 APR 14

05 April 2014

Russian Province Declares Ban on LGBT Rallies Illegal

RUSSIA, Kostroma Oblast: On 04 April 2014, a district court in the Western Russian region of Kostroma reportedly declared that two LGBT rallies can proceed as planned, overturning two decisions by lower courts that sided with local officials refusing to allow the demonstrators to protest. The decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.

04 April 2014

Utah lesbian couple's adoption stalls despite court order

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 02 April 2014, 3rd District Judge Andrew Stone approved the adoption by Kimberly and Amber Leary of their child, conceived through assisted reproduction, whilst the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics has refused to accept the court order approving their second-parent adoption. The Leary's were married hours after US District Court Judge Robert Shelby overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage and before the US Supreme Court put the ruling on hold.

03 April 2014

City must pay for foster kidís sex change: judge

UNITED STATES, New York: On 21 March 2014, Judge Peter J Moulton in the New York Supreme Court ordered the city's Administration for Children's Services pay for D.F's: 1) full sexual reassignment surgery, 2) facial feminization, 3) tracheal shaving, 4) breast augmentation and 5) laser hair removal.
• Opinion: In the Matter of the Application of D.F. v. Gladys Carrion 400037/14, 2014 NY Slip Op 24078 21 MAR 14

Federal Judge Rules Gays Are Protected by Sex Discrimination Laws

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 31 March 2014, US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly found that discrimination that stems from noncomformity to “gender stereotypes associated with men” is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination due to sex. In 2012 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that the term 'gender' in Title VII “ … encompasses not only a person's biological sex but also the cultural and social aspects associated with masculinity and femininity”.
• Memorandum Opinion: Peter J Terveer v. James H Billington Civil Action No. 12-1290 (CKK) PDF 108.33kb, 31 MAR 14

Gay sex verdict: SC agrees to consider open court hearing of curative petitions

INDIA: On 03 April 2014, the Supreme Court agreed to consider an open court hearing of curative petitions, filed by gay rights activists against its verdict on criminalising homosexuality.

02 April 2014

Judge OKs Transgender Inmate's Hormone Treatments

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 02 April 2014, Judge Algenon L Marbley in the US District Court granted the application of Antione S Lee for a temporary restraining order and ordered that hormone treatment be forthwith resumed by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, with a preliminary injunction hearing set down for 01 May.
• Order: Antione S Lee v. Brad Eller Civil Action No. 2:13-CV-0087 PDF 41.47kb, 02 APR 14

New rules give equal rights to lesbian mothers

NETHERLANDS: On 01 April 2014, new rules came into effect enabling both women in a couple to legally be the parents of children without going through complicated and expensive adoption procedures. The same rules do not apply to male couples because legal parentship rests with the mother and she cannot simply transfer it.

Court OKs adoption by transsexual

JAPAN, Osaka: On 02 April 2014, the Osaka Family Court was reported to have approved the adoption of a 3-year-old boy by a woman in her 30s who changed her sex from male due to gender identity disorder (GID) and subsequently married a man. It is perhaps the first case in Japan in which a woman who has changed her gender has been approved as a legal mother through an adoption program.

Anti-Gay 'Religious Practices Bill' Headed To Miss. Governor

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 01 April 2014, Senate Bill 2681, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices, passed the House 79-43 and the Senate 37-14 and now goes to Republican Governor Phil Bryant. The law could prompt people to cite religious beliefs in taking actions that discriminate against gay people, women or those of different racial backgrounds or faiths.

Norrie wins High Court appeal

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 02 April 2014, the High Court of Australia in “NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Narriages v. Norrie” ruled that New South Wales laws permit registration of a third “non specific” category of sex other than male or female. The judgment is a legal recognition by the highest court in the country that sex is no longer just male or female and could have far-reaching implications around the nation.
• Order: NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v. Norrie [2012] HCA 11, RTF 104.00kb, 02 APR 14

01 April 2014

Pitre Car Dealership to Pay over $2 Million to Resolve EEOC Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Suit

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 01 April 2014 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the sexual harassment claim against Albuquerque car dealership Pitre Inc., alleged to have subjected a class of men to egregious forms of sexual harassment contrary to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, has been settled with Pitre agreeing to pay a record sum of over $2 million.

Nova Scotia now funds sex reassignment surgery

CANADA, Nova Scotia: On 01 April 2014, Nova Scotia began covering eight types of sex reassignment surgeries for residents.
• News Release: Publicly Funded Sex Reassignment Surgery Available April 1 PDF01 APR 14

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