GayLawNews™

January 2014

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31 January 2014

Virginia Marriage Case Given Class-Action Status

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 31 January 2014, Judge Michael Urbanski in the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania certified the “Joanne Harris et. al. v. Janet M Rainey et. al.” case as a class action, extending the challenge to the state's ban on marriage for same-sex couples to all same-sex couples in the state who cannot legally marry or whose legal marriages performed elsewhere are not recognized by the Commonwealth.
• Memorandum Opinion: Joanne Harris et. al. v. Janet M Rainey et. al. No. 5:13cv077 PDF 1021.60kb, 31 JAN 14

Mexican Supreme Court rules on gay partner benefits

MEXICO: On 29 January 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 3-2 that the same benefits married heterosexual couples receive must be extended to gays and lesbians who have either married or entered into civil unions.

Judge grants former lesbian who is now a man access to ex-lover's child

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 10 January 2014, Family Court of Australia Judge Watts ordered that FtM transgender Mr Brown have permission to spend Father's Day with his former lover's 7-year-old daughter B.
• Orders: Brown v. Phillips [2014] FamCA 9 PDF 158.68kb, 10 JAN 14

Massachusetts Prison Officials Appeal Sex-Change Ruling

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 31 January 2014, the Department of Correction indicated that an appeal would be filed in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals against the District Court decision granting a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for Michelle Kosilek.

Bulgarian Parliament rejects gay propaganda ban law

BULGARIA: On 29 January 2014, the National Assembly rejected a proposal which would have amended the Penal Code, banning any public discussion or display of LGBTI identity.

30 January 2014

Sarpy County, Nebraska Extends Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, Nebraska: On 28 January 2014, Sarpy County Commissioners voted 3-2 to extend health insurance benefits to spouses of gay county employees who have legally married in another state but live in Nebraska with effect from 01 February.

Court: Transgender Studentís Rights Were Violated

UNITED STATES, Maine: On 30 January 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court, ruled 5-1 that the school district's actions requiring a MtF transgender 5th grader Nicole Maines to use a staff bathroom instead of the girls' restroom, violated the Maine Human Rights Act, a state law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.
• Opinion: John Doe et al v Regional School Unit 26 2014 ME 11, 30 JAN 14

29 January 2014

Judge rejects challenge to Hawaii's gay marriage law

UNITED STATES, Hawaii: On 28 January 2014, First Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto granted the state's motion for summary judgment and ruled that the State's marriage law is legal under both the state and federal constitutions.

Federal Appeal Court upholds California law banning gay conversion therapies for minors

UNITED STATES, California: On 29 January 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is letting stand a California law (SB 1171 - Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) that makes it illegal for LGBTI youth in the state to be forced into conversion therapies.
• Order and Amended Opinion: David H Pickup & Ors v. Edmund G Brown & Ors. No. 12-17681 PDF 274.73kb, 29 JAN 14


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28 January 2014

Lesbian Parent Denied Adoption Requested as Extra Caution

UNITED STATES, New York: On 06 January 2014, Brooklyn Surrogate Margarita Lopez Torres in the “Matter of Seb C-M, X 2013≠21”, ruled that adoption by non-biological mother AC of the child Seb C-M, was “neither necessary nor available” under New York law. AC married birth mother MM in Connecticut in 2011. Both parent's names appear on the boy's birth certificate.

Indiana House Passes Constitutional Gay Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 28 January 2014, the House of Representatives approved 57-40 the amended Bill (HB1153 Marriage Amendment Ballot Language) that would place the state's gay marriage ban in the state constitution, while leaving the door open to eventual approval of civil unions. The amended Bill now heads back to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate.

Supreme Court will not review judgment against homosexuality

INDIA: On 28 January 2014, Justices H. L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya held that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizing gay sex did not suffer from any constitutional infirmity and said there were no grounds to interfere with the order.
•Order: Naz Foundation (India) Trust v. Suresh Kumar Koushal & Ors PDF 6.46kb, 28 JAN 14

Northern Cyprus votes to legalise gay sex

NORTHERN CYPRUS: On 27 January 2014, Turkish Cypriot deputies passed an amendment 28-1 (with 21 abstentions) repealing a colonial-era law that punished homosexual acts with up to five years in prison. The change still has to be endorsed by the breakaway republic's president, Dervi Ero lu, who is expected to support the reform.

27 January 2014

Israel issues first passport to baby born to Israeli same-sex couple, surrogate mother in Thailand

ISRAEL: On 27 January 2014, the government issued a passport to the first newborn in a group of babies born to Israeli parents through surrogates in Thailand, paving the way for the parents, a same sex couple, to bring their baby home to Israel. Thai authorities require the approval of the surrogate mother as well as documents showing that she has consented to taking the baby out of the country permanently, before permitting “parents” to leave the country with the baby after it is born.

Transport for London 'welcomes' court ruling in favour of anti-gay bus advert ban

UNITED KINGDOM, England: On 27 January 2014, the Court of Appeal upheld Transport for London's original decision and right not to run “ex-gay” adverts by the Core Issues Trust. However, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, ruled that a judicial investigation was needed to consider whether Mayor Mr Johnson had acted “for an improper purpose”.
• Judgment: The Queen on the application of Core Issues Trust v. Transport for London & Anor. [2014] EWCA Civ 34, 27 JAN 14

Museveni says he will sign Uganda anti-gay bill if scientists can prove being gay is not genetic

UGANDA: On 27 January 2014, President Museveni reportedly said he would only sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill if a team of scientists could prove people were homosexual by choice not genetics.

25 January 2014

Williams Institute Researchers Contribute to Groundbreaking Handbook on LGBT Communities and Crime

INTERNATIONAL: Edited by Dana Peterson and Vanessa R. Panfil, the first text of its kind in criminology and criminal justice and featuring original empirical and theoretical contributions from leading scholars on LGBTQ individuals' victimization, offending, and experiences with police, courts, and corrections.

Virginia Senate committee kills second-parent adoption bill

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 24 January 2014, the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee by a 6-6 vote margin struck down SB 336, a bill that would have extended second-parent adoption rights to gays and lesbians.

First English and Welsh same-sex marriages will happen and be recognised sooner than thought

UNITED KINGDOM: On 09 January 2014, the Government Equalities Office confirmed that “same sex couples who married abroad under foreign law and are currently treated as civil partners will instead be recognised as being married in England and Wales from 13 March 2014.”. “The Registrar General can allow a marriage to take place without the normal 15-day notice period where one of the couple is seriously ill and is not expected to recover, and in other urgent cases such as where a person is due to be deployed overseas in the armed forces. Such marriages of same sex couples will be possible from Thursday, 13 March 2014.
• Government Equalities Office: Married Same Sex Couples: A Fact Sheet PDF 113.37kb, 09 JAN 14

24 January 2014

Australian Government study finds kids with gay parents do as well as those with straight parents

AUSTRALIA: On 20 January 2014, the Australian Governmentís Institute of Family Studies released a report finding that kids who are being brought up in families headed by gays and lesbians do as well as their heterosexually parented peers.
• Report: Same-sex parented families in Australia CFCA Paper No. 18 2013 PDF 759.34kb, 20 JAN 14

23 January 2014

Rock County Board approves same-sex benefits resolution

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 23 January 2014, the Rock County Board approved a resolution 20-7 letting county employees in same-sex domestic partnerships share health care benefits with their significant others starting from 01 March.
• Resolution: Approving Health Insurance Benefits for Employees in Same-Sex Relatiopnships Who Meet Eligibity Requirements No. 14-1B-498 PDF 241.40kb, 23 JAN 14

Judge rules Kansas sperm donor owes child support

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 22 January 2014, Judge Mary Mattivi in the District Court of Shawnee County William Marotta who donated sperm to a lesbian couple is the father of a child born to the women and must pay child support because the parties did not provide the donor sperm to a licensed physician.
• Memorandum Decision and Order: State of Kansas & Ors v. W.M. Case No. 12 D 2686 PDF 5.24MB, 22 JAN 14

Australia includes same-sex couples in relationship counseling voucher scheme

AUSTRALIA, Canberra: On 23 January 2014, the Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews reportedly announced that from 01 July for a trial period of 12 months, Australian couples, regardless of sexuality, will be able to receive $200 worth of free relationship counseling in an Australian Government scheme designed to combat relationship breakups.


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21 January 2014

Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 21 January 2014, City of Starkville aldermen unanimously passed an equality resolution stating that the city does not condone discrimination of any kind, including any against its citizens for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Six Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit to Overturn Florida's Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 21 January 2014, a complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County Florida, arguing that the state's laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.
• Complaint: Catherina Pareto & Ors v. Harvey Ruvin PDF 112.12kb, 21 JAN 14

20 January 2014

Court: Gay Juror was Taken Off Panel Improperly

UNITED STATES, California: On 20 January 2014, the the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that striking someone from a jury pool because he or she is gay constitutes unlawful discrimination.
• Opinion: Smithkline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories Nos. 11-17357, 11-17373 PDF 183.25kb, 21 JAN 14

Virginia lawmakers kill two pro-LGBT bills

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 20 January 2014, the Virginia House of Delegates Civil Law Subcommittee in a 4-5 vote struck down House Bill 939, a proposal that would have repealed the state's statutory same-sex marriage ban. The Virginia Senate General Laws and Technology Committee in a 7-7 vote struck down Senate Bill 248, a bill that would have banned discrimination against LGBT state employees.

State finds Oregon bakery discriminated by refusing to make wedding cake for lesbians

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 20 January 2014, it was reported that the Bureau of Labor and Industries had found that Sweet Cakes by Melissa had discriminated against Portland couple Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman by refusing to make their wedding cake. Both parties must now undergo settlement talks.
• BOLI Press Release: BOLI finds substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination in bakery civil rights complaint PDF 305.73kb, 17 JAN 14

17 January 2014

Six men arrested for gay wedding in Gabon

GABON: On 17 January 2014, it was reported that - despite same-sex weddings and gay sex not being explicitly illegal in the African country - police arrested six men on grounds of 'obscenity', for allegedly having a gay wedding on 29 December. The men were held for one night, without bringing charges against them after it was determining that no customery marriage had occurred.

How a Transgender Person Helped Bring Down Pennsylvania's Discriminatory Voter ID Law

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 17 January 2014, Judge Bernard McGinely of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania struck down the strict photo-identification requirement that would have disenfranchised over 5,000 transgender Pennsylvanians, as well as hundreds of thousands of low-income and elderly people with a disproportionate impact on Pennsylvanians of color.
• Memorandum Opinion: Viviette Applewhite & Ors v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania & Others 330 M.D. 2012 PDF 8.32MB, 17 JAN 14

Scottish parliament removes transgender spousal veto from marriage equality bill

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: On 16 January 2014, the Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee unanimously approved an amendment to remove the spousal veto from the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, meaning that married, transgender Scots will no longer be required to obtain written consent from their spouse before they can get legal recognition of their gender identity.

Portugal's Gay Adoption Rights Placed in Doubt

PORTUGAL: On 17 January 2014, it was reported that the centre-right Social Democratic Party won a motion by 11 votes in the 230-seat Parliament to put a law allowing gay married couples to adopt their partners' children to a referendum. The final word on whether to call a referendum lies with the constitutional Court and Portugal's president, expected within two months.

Appeals Court Upholds Sex Change for Massachusetts Inmate

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 17 January 2014, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld 2-1 the District Court ruling granting a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for Michelle Kosilek, a Massachusetts transgender inmate serving a life sentence for murder.
• Opinion: Michelle Kosilek v. Luis S Spencer No. 12-2194 PDF 192.79kb, 17 JAN 14

Museveni blocks Anti-Homosexuality Bill

UGANDA: On 17 January 2014, it was reported that President Museveni had blocked the anti-homosexiality bill, confronting Speaker Rebecca Kadaga in a letter dated 28 December for passing the controversial the bill without parliamentary quorum.

16 January 2014

Nigerian Beaten for Sex With a Man 7 Years Ago

NIGERIA: On 16 January 2014, it was reported that Judge Nuhu Mohammed in the northern Bauchi Sharia Court ordered Mubarak Ibrahim retroactively punished with 20 lashes and a fine of 5,000 naira (about $30) for violating the recently enacted Same-Sex Prohibition Act.

Gay Couples in Utah Can Jointly File State Taxes

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 16 January 2014, Tax commission spokesman Charlie Roberts said newly married gay and lesbian couples can jointly file their taxes for 2013. The ruling also pertains to same-sex couples legally married in other states.

Ohio Appeals Gay Marriage Ruling

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 16 January 2014, the attorney general's office filed its notice of appeal in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati against Judge Timothy Black's 23 December ruling ordering the recognition of gay marriages on death certificates.

15 January 2014

Delaware to recognize Utah same-sex marriages

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 15 January 2014, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said the state will recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah between 20 December 2013, and 06 January 2014. Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts [SFGN, 16 JAN], Washington and Washington DC also announced state recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Utah.


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14 January 2014

Trans Rights Bill Introduced in Maryland

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 14 January 2014, state senator Rich Madaleno, introduced a bill that would outlaw discrimination against individuals on the basis of gender identity in housing, employment, and public accommodation. The bill mirrors previous legislation that died in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
• SB0212: Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 PDF 192.05kb, 16 JAN 14

Judge Says OK to Marriage Equality in Oklahoma

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 14 January 2014, Judge Terence Kern in the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, ruled that the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the US Constitution, staying his ruling pending an appeal.
• Opinion and Order: Mary Bishop & Ors v. Eric Holder & Ors No. 04-CV-848-TCK-TLW PDF 206.25kb, 14 JAN 14

Idaho House Panel OKs Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 14 January 2014, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a State Tax Commission rule requiring same-sex couples who are legally married in other states but live in Idaho to file their state income taxes separately - even though they can file their federal taxes jointly.

13 January 2014

Christie vetoes bill allowing new birth certificates for transgender people without surgery

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 13 January 2014, Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed transgender citizens to obtain a new birth certificate to reflect their gender identity without surgical requirements. Being an absolute veto, a two-thirds vote will now be required to override the governor's veto in order for the measure to become law ≠ 27 votes in the Senate and 54 votes in the general assembly.

Second Australian state to wipe convictions from when gay sex was illegal

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 13 January 2014, it was reported that all parties in the Tasmanian Legislature backed a proposal to expunge the criminal records of men convicted of adult consensual gay sex prior to the decriminalization of homosexuality in the state and an apology for the state's former anti-gay laws.

Nigerian leader signs anti-gay law, drawing U.S. fire

NIGERIA: On 13 January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Bill into law making same-sex marriage and relationships unlawful with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

12 January 2014

Victorian men convicted of gay sex to get convictions removed

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 12 January 2014, the Liberal Premier Dennis Napthine was expected to announce the introduction of legislation that will provide men with the opportunity to have the convictions wiped from their record.

11 January 2014

Terry McAuliffe bans discrimination against LGBT state employees

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 11 January 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order that bans discrimination against LGBT state employees based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

10 January 2014

Federal Government Will Recognize Utah Same-Sex Marriages

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 10 January 2014, US Attorney-General Eric Holder announced that for the purposes of federal law, the US government will recognize as valid the unions of 1,360 same-sex couples who married in Utah during the 17 days such marriages legal. Utah Attorney-General Sean Reyes directed county clerks to issue marriage licenses to those couples who had applied for them and had their union solemnized before the Supreme Court enacted its stay on Monday.

09 January 2014

Shanxi Permits Transgender Persons to Change Gender Information

CHINA, Shanxi: On 01 January 2014, the Shanxi Provincial Permanent Residence Registration Regulations reportedly came into effect. A person who has had gender reassignment surgery can now change their notification gender on their official permanent residence registration, identification card, sex determination proof given out by a domestic hospital above third level and certificate from the notarization department or judicial appraisal department.

Friends with parental benefits

UNITED STATES, New York: On 27 December 2013, Surrogate Judge Rita Mella in the New York Surrogate Court granted gay man LEL's second-parent adoption petition of Ethiopian adoptee G, with co-adoptor KAL, even though they do not have a spousal or romantic relationship and do not live together.
• Decision: In the Matter of the Adoption of A Child Whose First Name is G Index No redacted by Court PDF 126.05kb, 27 DEC 13

08 January 2014

Governor Says Gay, Lesbian Utahns Are Not Married

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 08 January 2014, the office of Governor Gary Herbert announced that more than 1,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the 17 days when such unions were permitted in Utah will not be considered legal. Arguably, the Supreme Court's injunction has no bearing on the validity of the marriages that took place when they were legal.

Senate in Chile approves same-sex civil union bill

CHILE: On 07 January 2014, the Senate approved 28-6 (2 abstentions) the Life Partner Agreement bill that would allow homosexual couples to become legal partners in civil unions. The bill now goes to a constitutional assembly before being brought back to Congress 20 January.

Melbourne sperm donor dad gets access to daughter despite objections of lesbian parents

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 08 January 2014, Judge Judith Small in the Federal Circuit Court was reported to have granted sperm donor dad access to his daughter despite the objections of her lesbian parents. Because the girl's parents are in a defacto relationship, the man is not legally considered the girl's parent, despite being her biological father and the women have sole parental responsibility for her.


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07 January 2014

Same-Sex Spouses Get Military ID Cards

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 06 January 2014, the Department of Defense announced an interim regulation under which same-sex spouses are entitled to the same DoD identification cards as their opposite-sex counterparts and now have access to health care, life insurance and survivor benefits. Comments are due by 07 March.
• Department of Defense: Identification (ID) Cards for Members of the Uniformed Services, Their Dependents, and Other Eligible Individuals Doc No: 2013-30620, 06 JAN 14

Connolly v. Brewer: Same-sex Couples Sue Arizona

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 06 January 2014, private lawyers in Arizona filed a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry and respect for their out-of-state marriages in Arizona.
• Complaint: Joseph Connelly & Ors v. Janice Brewer & Ors Case: 2:14-cv-00024-JWS PDF 942.70kb, 06 JAN 14

06 January 2014

Utah gay marriage: Weddings put on hold by US high court

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 06 January 2014, the US Supreme Court granted a stay halting same-sex marriages in Utah pending pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
• Order in Pending Case: Herbert, Gov of Utah, et al v. Kitchen, Derek, et al. 13A687 PDF 26.89kb, 06 JAN 14

02 January 2014

Bahrain court gives initial approval to gender reassignment for two trans men

BAHRAIN: On 02 January 2014, it was reported that the High Administrative Court gave two transgender men initial approval for gender reassignment, referring them to a medical examiner.


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