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August 2014

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31 August 2014

Registrar dismissed for refusing to perform same-sex weddings wins employment tribunal

UNITED KINGDOM, England: On 31 August 2014, it was reported that an employment tribunal had found in favour of Margaret Jones, a Christian senior deputy registrar at the Bedford register office, who was let go after she refused to perform same-sex weddings. She left the job before actually refusing any same-sex couples.

29 August 2014

Federal judge returns same-sex case back to state court

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 28 August 2014, US District Lee Rosenthal sent the Jared R. Woodfill, Steven F Hotze, F N Williams and Max Miller v. Annise D Parker, Anna Russell and City Of Houston No. 2014-44974, lawsuit involving city of Houston benefits for the spouses of same-sex married couples back to state court.

28 August 2014

California governor considers allowing gender identity on death certificates

UNITED STATES, California: On 28 August 2014, the Assembly passed 67-4 Bill AB1577 that will when sigend into law by Governor Brown, require an official filling out a death certificate to have regard to evidence that the deceased person had changed gender identity, including health records showing treatment for gender transition, court approval for a name change, an advanced healthcare directive or other documents.

Colombia allows lesbian partner to adopt child born via artificial insemination

COLOMBIA: On 28 August 2014, the Colombian Constitutional Court reportedly allowed Veronica Botero to adopt two children born to her partner Ana Leiderman via artificial insemination. Botero however doesn't have any custodial or legal rights over the children.

27 August 2014

Tempe voters approve protections for LGBT workers in city charter

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 26 August 2014, voters in Tempe approved a proposition to change the city charter to ban discrimination against LGBT municipal workers. Future city councils would require voter approval to rescind the protections.

California Assembly approves ban on ‘gay panic’ defense, bill heads to governor

UNITED STATES, California: On 27 August 2014, the Assembly passed Bill AB2501 50-10 that will, when signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, prevent defendants escaping murder charges by claiming they panicked when they discovered someone was gay or transgender.

NOM lacks standing to appeal Oregon same-sex marriage ruling

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 27 August 2014, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the application of the National Organization for Marriage ruling it had no standing to appeal the District Court ruling that the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
• Order: Deanna L Geiger v. John Kitzhaber v. National Organization for Marriage Inc. No. 14-35427 PDF 61.12kb, 27 AUG 14

26 August 2014

Same-sex couple given parental rights to surrogate child

SWITZERLAND, St Gallen: On 26 August 2014, it was reported that the St Gallen administrative court ruled that two men be recognised as the legal parents of a child born to a surrogate mother in the United States with an egg from an anonymous donor and sperm from one of the two Swiss fathers. The child's California birth certificate recognised the men as parents. The Federal Office of Justice may appeal the decision to the Federal Court.
Judgment: Parties undisclosed B 2013/158 (in German), 19 AUG 14

Rabbinic Court Tells Lesbian Mother To Keep Children Away From Partner

ISRAEL, Jerusalem: On 26 August 2014, it was reported that in divorce proceedings, a rabbinic court in Jerusalem granted the custody of the children to the woman but at the husband's request, issued an order prohibiting the woman from bringing her children to meet her female romantic partner. A petition has been filed on behalf of the woman in the Supreme Court challenging the order.

Cincinnati to cover transition-related procedures under health insurance

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 26 August 2014, it was reported that starting next year, the City of Cincinnati employee health insurance benefits will cover transition-related procedures deemed “medically necessary” by a professional mental health counselor.

25 August 2014

Dispute Over Gay Icon Divine's Estate Settled

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 18 July 2014, US District Court Judge Roy B Dalton granted a motion to strike the pleadings of Michael O'Quinn, dismiss the counterclaim and enter final judgment in favour of the Everything Devine Inc., in a dispute over the Will of Frances D Milstead and estate of Harris Glenn Milstead aka Divine. O'Quinn was alleged to have improperly taken over and misappropriated the Estate.
• Order: Everything Devine Incorporated v. Michael O'Quinn No. 6:12-cv-1722-Orl-37DAB PDF 49.54kb, 18 JUL 14

24 August 2014

Ecuador to grant same-sex unions ID recognition

ECUADOR: On 24 August 2014, President Rafael Correa was reported as saying “Gays, lesbians, transgender and transsexual people have the full constitutional right to include their civil union on their ID cards”. Until now, only heterosexual marriages could be listed on the identification document.

21 August 2014

California legislature OKs bill allowing birth certificates to reflect same-sex parents

UNITED STATES, California: On 20 August 2014, the legislature approved AB 1951, a bill that will, when signed by Governor Jerry Brown, amend the Health and Safety Code and modernize birth certificates to more accurately reflect families in which parents are of the same gender by allowing parents to identify themselves as father, mother or parent when a child is born - effective 01 January 2016.

MATERC Applauds Worcester's Nondiscrimination Protections

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 21 August 2014, the Worcester City Council was reported to have voted unanimously in favor of an amendment to the city's Revised Ordinances of 2008 enacting nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity or expression (effective 27 August 2014).

Tenth Circuit stays same-sex marriages in Colorado

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 21 July 2014, consistent with stays issued on other cases, the US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order granting a stay in Burns v. Suthers, a federal challenge to Colorado's same-sex marriage ban.
• Order: Catherine Burns et al. v. John Suthers et al. No. 14-1284 PDF 38.31kb, 21 AUG 14

Federal judge issues order barring state from enforcing Florida same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 21 August 2014, US District Court Judge Robert L Hinkle granted a state-wide preliminary injunction in Brenner v. Scott preventing the state from enforcing the same-sex marriage ban. The decision is stayed pending Supreme Court action on several petitions for review in marriage cases that are pending.
• Order: James Domer Brenner et al. v. Rick Scott et al and Sloan Grimsley et al v. Rick Scott et al. Nos. 4:14cv107-RH/CAS, 4:14cv138-RH/CAS PDF 212.89kb, 21 AUG 14

20 August 2014

Agusan del Norte one of the first to enact anti-discrimination law News item summary PH (AGN) 20 AUG

High Court directs change of name in certificates of transgender

INDIA, Tamil Nadu: On 20 August 2014, the Madras high court bench in Madurai was reported to have allowed the petition of S Swapna and directed the petitioner to file a fresh application and directed the joint director of school examinations to consider the same and issue fresh SSLC and HSC certificates in her new name.

Fayetteville approves anti-discrimination law

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 20 August 2014, in a 6-2 vote Fayetteville became the first city in Arkansas to enact a law prohibiting certain types of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and places of public accommodation.

Supreme Court prevents same-sex marriages in Virginia from starting tomorrow

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 20 August 2014, the US Supreme Court granted an application to stay the federal appeals court's ruling in Bostic v. Schaeffer against Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, blocking same-sex marriages from taking place.
• Order in Pending Case: McQuigg, Michele v. Bostic, Timothy B., et al. 14A196 PDF 25.15kb, 20 AUG 14

Ugandan President Signs Law Criminalizing HIV Transmission

UGANDA: On 31 July 2014, President President Yoweri Museveni assented to The HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Act, 2014, an act which introduces fines and a 10-year prison sentence for the intentional transmission (or 5-years for the attempted transmission) of HIV in Uganda.
•Act: The HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Act, 2014 PDF 825.60kb, 31 JUL 14

19 August 2014

District court strikes down Indiana same-sex marriage ban in new ruling

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 19 August 2014, Richard L Young, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, ruled in Bowling v. Pence that State law prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, staying the order pending the 7th Circuit Court rulings in Baskin v. Bogan, Lee v. Pence, and Fujii v. Pence.
• Entry on Cross Motions for Summary Judgment: Michelle Bowling, Shannon Bowling and Linda Bruner v. Michael Pence & Ors No. 1:14-cv-00405-RLY-TAB PDF 71.05kb, 19 AUG 14
• Final Judgment: Michelle Bowling, Shannon Bowling and Linda Bruner v. Michael Pence & Ors No. 1:14-cv-00405-RLY-TAB PDF 88.82kb, 19 AUG 14

West Palm Beach approves same-sex benefit requirements for contractors

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 18 August 2014, West Palm Beach city commission passed an ordinance 5-0 requiring contractors with five or more employees and people who do at least $50,000 in business with the city to offer equal family benefits to all employees, including those in same-sex relationships. Companies that provide no benefits to employees' spouses or dependents, government entities and certain contracts are exempted.

18 August 2014

Illegal to discriminate against trans-people at work

MALTA: On 12 August 2014, an amendment to the Employment and Industrial Relations Act came into force making it unlawful to discriminate at the workplace against transgendered people (people who are considering or intend to undergo, or are undergoing, a process, or part of a process, for the purposes of reassigning the person's sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex). Employees only need to provide enough evidence pointing to a likely case of discrimination. The employer will then need to prove that discrimination has not taken place.

16 August 2014

Australian same-sex couple allowed to leave Thailand with newborn twins

THAILAND: On 16 August 2014, it was reported that the newly formed military dominated national assembly is considering draft laws banning commercial surrogacy however, an Australian same-sex couple arrived in Bankok having been allowed to depart the country with their newborn twins.

15 August 2014

Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, New York: On 08 August 2014, the New York State Division of Human Rights ruled that a wedding venue was in violation of the law when it refused to host a same-sex couple's wedding. The Liberty Ridge Farm has been ordered to pay $13,000 in fines and restitution to Jennifer and Melisa McCarthy for discriminating against them.
• Notice and Final Order: McCarthy v. Liberty Ridge Farm Nos. 10157952 & 10157963 PDF 7.85MB, 08 AUG 14

14 August 2014

Oregon adds transgender procedures to Oregon Health Plan

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 14 August 2014, the Health Evidence Review Commission decided that a full range of state medical coverage for low-income transgender people will be offered for the first time starting early next year. The coverage will include cross-sex hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.

Orlando Unanimously Approves Transgender Non-Discrimination Protections

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 11 August 2014, the Orlando City Council voted 7-0 to approve an amendment to the city's Human Rights Ordinance that adds “gender identity” as a protected class in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.

Same-sex couple records marriage license in Mississippi

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 13 August 2014, Oktibbeha County Chancery Court Clerk Monica Banks reportedly recorded the Massachusetts marriage certificate of Paris Prince and Ravi Perry of Starkville as a miscellaneous document. The filing is not of much practical use but does make a statement that is a public record.

13 August 2014

Marriages of Transgender People Ruled Valid by Courts in Arizona and California

UNITED STATES, California: On 06 August 2014, Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles denied Elayne Miller's request to find the 2003 Louisiana marriage between her and f2m transgender Jake Miller (aka Buck Angel) void or voidable (so as to avoid a claim for spousal maintenance).
• Opinion: Jake Millar v. Elayne Angel No. GD 053180 PDF 1.74MB, 06 AUG 14

Appeals court rules transgender man can continue pursuing divorce

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 13 August 2014, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that f2m transgender Thomas Beatie's marriage to Nancy Beatie in Hawaii in 2003 is considered valid in Arizona and concluded it wasn't a same-sex union and he could continue to pursue a divorce.
• Opinion: Thomas T Beatie v. Nancy J Beatie No. 1CA-CV 13-0209 PDF 527.28kb, 13 AUG 14

Florida high court backs lesbian in visitation fight for adopted son

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 11 August 2014, the 5-judge panel of the Florida Supreme Court upheld a Fifth District Court of Appeal ruling giving adoptive mother G.P. full parental rights of a child born to her estranged partner C.P. and remitted the case to resolve the issues of access and visitation.

ACLU of Virginia Praises Fourth Circuit's Decision to Deny Stay in Marriage Case

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 13 August 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied a request to delay implementation of its ruling striking down Virginia laws denying marriage to same-sex couples. The court's action means that, unless the Supreme Court intervenes, couples may begin marrying and having their out-of-state marriages recognized in Virginia on August 21.
• Order: Timothy B Bostic, et al. v. George E Schaeffer III, et al. No. 14-1167 PDF 29.68kb, 13 AUG 14

12 August 2014

Right of Return Extended to Gay Couples

ISRAEL: On 12 August 2014, Interior Minister Gidon Sa'ar (Likud) ruled that Jews in same-sex marriages can immigrate to Israel - even with a non-Jewish partner. The Right of Return also gives citizenship to spouses of the same sex when Jews choose to immigrate to Israel together.

$100,000 awarded to South Australia prison officer who was falsely labelled as gay

AUSTRALIA, South Australia: On 07 August 2014, District Court Judge Susanne Cole found that Stephen Kirkham, co-worker of Adelaide Remand Center officer Cosimo Tassone, sent an email from Tassone's work account reading reading“Hello people, just a note to say that I am a homosexual and I am looking for like minded people to share time with”. Judge Cole found the imputation that the plaintiff was homosexual, though false, was not defamatory. All other imputations were held to be defamatory. Tassone was awarded damages for non economic loss at $75,000 plus interest and damages for economic loss at a sum yet to be determined.
• Judgment: Cosimo Tassone v. Stephen Kirkham [2014] SADC 134 PDF 357.35kb, 07 AUG 14

08 August 2014

Ugandan Attorney General Appeals Anti-Homosexuality Act Court Ruling

UGANDA: On 08 August 2014, the Attorney General was reported to have filed a Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to reverse the Constitutional Court of Uganda's judgment which voided the Anti Homosexuality Act. The grounds for the appeal are not yet known.

Indian federal Cabinet bars adoption by same-sex couples

INDIA: On 06 August 2014, the Indian federal Cabinet reportedly decided to officially bar same-sex couples from adopting children, a move that some say can also be extended to single members of the LGBT community. A bill amending the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 will now be sent to parliament for ratification and the Indian president's signature before being enacted.

Citing state law, judge declines to grant same-sex divorce

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 08 August 2014, Roane County Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr. was reported to have ruled that state law banning same-sex marriage prevented recognition of the 2010 Iowa marriage Frederick Michael Borman and Larry Kevin Pyles-Borman and their application for divorce.
• Memorandum Opinion: Frederick Michael Borman v. Larry Kevin Pyles-Borman No. 2014CV36 PDF 16.41MB, 05 AUG 14

07 August 2014

Chattanooga domestic partner benefits rejected

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 07 August 2014, Chattanooga voters rejected the domestic partners Ordinance No. 12781 that would have granted city employees equal protection against harassment and discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, and certain medical and leave benefits, with 13,685 votes against it to 8,184 for it.

06 August 2014

New Jersey Court Recognizes that Bonded Stepparents can Maintain Contact with Children they Have Raised

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 06 August 2014, the Superior Court, Appellate Division ruled that a same-sex stepparent who has raised a child from a young age can seek custody or visitation with the child if it is in child's best interests, finding a stepparent who is a psychological parent must be allowed to seek custody or visitation even where there are two fit parents.
• Opinion: K.A.F. v. D.L.M. A-0878-12 PDF 108.70kb, 06 AUG 14

Lesbian Co-Parent’s Custody Denied, Child Left in Foster Care

UNITED STATES, New York: On 30 June 2014, Nassau County Family Court Judge Edmund M. Dane ruled that despite New York's 2011 marriage equality law, a lesbian co-parent Jann P. cannot claim parental rights for a child John born prior to her marriage to the birth mother Jamie P., notwithstanding a separation agreement, which described John as “a child of the marriage” who would be raised by Jann and Jamie, with Jamie apparently having residential custody.

Oklahoma appeals gay marriage case to SCOTUS

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 06 August 2014, a petition was filed in the US Supreme Court following the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Mary Bishop & Sharon Baldwin & Ors. v. Sally Howe Smith & Ors. seeking clarification as to “whether the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a state from defining or recognizing marriage only as the legal union between a man and a woman”.
• Petition: Sally Howe Smith v. Mary Bishop, et al. PDF 692.20kb, 05 AUG 14

05 August 2014

Palm Beach ruling supports gay marriage

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 05 August 2014, Circuit Judge Diana Lewis in the Circuit Court for Palm Beach County ordered that W Jason Simpson, as the spouse of the deceased Frank C Bangor, be appointed personal representative of the Florida estate of the deceased. The men were married in Delaware in 2013.
• Order: In Re: Estate of Frank C Bangor a/k/a Francis C Bangor No. 502014CP001857XXXXMB PDF 404.94kb, 05 AUG 14

Kansas town bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 04 August 2014, with the Mayor's 4-4 tie-breaking vote Roeland Park became the second city in Kansas to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Utah officials ask Supreme Court to hear challenge to same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 05 August 2014, the State Governor and Attorney-General filed a petition in the US Supreme Court following the decision in Derek Kitchen et al. v. Gary S Herbert et al. seeking clarification as to “whether the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a state from defining or recognizing marriage only as the legal union between a man and a woman”.
• Petition: Gary R Herbert v. Derek Kitchen, et al. No. 14____ PDF 1.02MB, 05 AUG 14

04 August 2014

Ruling: Denver's Wrangler bar discriminated when it turned away gay man dressed in drag

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 22 July 2014, Director Steven Chavez determined in the claim by Vito Marzano against the Denver Wrangler, Inc., that the respondent violated Colo. Rev. Stat. §24-34-601(2) with respect to the claim of unlawful discrimination in a place of public accommodation by refusing Marzano entry because he was dressed in drag, ordering the parties to attempt amicable resolution by compulsory conciliation.
• Determination: Vito Marzano v. Denver Wrangler Inc No. P20140027X PDF 968.53kb, 22 JUL 14

Another Florida judge holds state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 04 August 2014, US Circuit Court Judge Dale C Cohen ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional in preventing state officials from recognizing legal civil unions and marriages performed outside of the state and granting Heather Brassner a dissolution of her civil union. The order was immediately stayed pending the outcome of expected appeals.
• Order: In Re the Marriage of Heather Brassner and Megan E Lade No. 13-012057 (37) PDF 7.69MB, 04 AUG 14

01 August 2014

Uganda court strikes down anti-gay law

UGANDA: On 01 August 2014, a 5-judge panel of the Constitutional Court ruled that the Anti-Homosexuality Act is unconstitutional because the Ugandan Parliament had failed to pass it with a quorum (the right amount of people needed for the vote). The ruling failed to pronounce upon the issue of constitutionality of the AHA as it pertains to human rights and maybe subject to an appeal. The Act may also be re-introduced to the Parliament.
• Judgment: Oloka-Onyango v. Attorney General No. 08 of 2014 PDF 59.72kb, 01 AUG 14

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