GayLawNews™

July 2014

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31 July 2014

Challenge to NJ Gay Conversion Ban for Minors is Dismissed

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 31 July 2014, for the second time Judge Freda Wolfson in the US District Court rejected the claims of a New Jersey couple who said their constitutional rights were being violated because the law prevents them from seeking treatment for their 15-year-old son.
• Opinion: John Doe, et al., v. Christopher J Christie PDF 137.72kb, 31 JUL 14

Nevada changes foster care regulations to allow HIV positive foster parents

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 31 July 2014, deputy administrator of Division of Child and Family Services Jill Marano announced that the DCFS had revised its regulations for prospective foster parents, removing a requirement that stated foster parents are to be free of certain communicable diseases including HIV and substituting “each foster parent must be in sufficiently good physical and mental health, and be physically and emotionally capable, to provide the necessary care to children”

Court tells trans woman: You canít have a female pension

UNITED KINGDOM, England: On 31 July 2014, Lord Justice Maurice Kay in the Court of Appeal, London ruled that post-operative m2f transgender MB was not entitled to receive the female state pension at the age of 60 because her marriage was not annulled. In April 2005 transgender people acquired the right to apply for a full gender recognition certificate under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, but at that time a certificate could not be issued to a married person who did not have their marriage annulled on the basis of their gender change, to avoid the law recognising a marriage between two people of the same sex when such a marriage was not then otherwise permissible.
• Judgment: MB -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EWCA Civ 1112, 31 JUL 14

Wisconsin Supreme Court Thursday Upholds Same-sex Couples' Benefits

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 31 July 2014, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld 7-0 the 2009 Domestic Partnership Act establishing a registry system with county clerks for same-sex couples to receive inheritance, hospital visitation and medical leave, unanimously agreeing it did not violate the state's ban on gay marriage.
• Opinion: Julaine K Appling, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. No. 2014 WI 96 PDF 286.96kb, 31 JUL 14

30 July 2014

High Court judge favours Mayor and TFL in ruling on 'ex-gay' bus advert ban

UNITED KINGDOM, England: On 30 July 2014, Mrs Justice Lang in the High Court, Queen's Bench Division ruled that the decision to ban an 'ex-gay' bus advert had been made solely by Transport for London, albeit after the Mayorís office had given its views, and that she believed he “was not motivated by an improper purpose, namely, to advance his Mayoral election campaign”.
• Judgment: Core Issues Trust v. Transport for London [2013] EWHC 651 (Admin), 30 JUL 14

Colorado supreme court halts same-sex marriages in Boulder County

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 29 July 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples pending disposition of an appeal. On 10 July 2014, District Court Judge Andrew Hartman had denied the Attorney General's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

29 July 2014

Illinois insurance department issues bulletin on transgender coverage

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 29 July 2014, the Illinois Department of Insurance issued guidance clarifying that under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Illinois state law, health insurers may not discriminate based on gender identity and related medical conditions.
• Illinois Department of Insurance: DOI Calls for Health Insurers to Bar Discrimination Based on Transgender Status or Gender Identity PDF 148.95kb, 29 JUL 14

28 July 2014

'Give separate jail facilities to transgenders'

INDIA: On 28 July 2014, Additional Sessions Judge Dr Kamini Lau was reported as having observed “Provisions for creating separate lock-ups/ prisons and making separate provisions for the transgenders/ eunuchs have been necessitated as they have full legal rights and cannot be shuttled between man and woman depending upon convenience and denying any effective legal status to them is violative of human rights.”.

North Carolina Attorney General Won't Defend Gay Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 28 July 2014, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling the Virigina case of Bostic v. Schaeffer made it highly likely North Carolina's same-sex marriage ban will be overturned and accordingly, it will no longer be defended.

Fourth Circuit rules Virginia's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 28 July 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled 2-1 in Bostic v. Shaeffer that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
• Opinion: Timothy A Bostic, et al. v. George E Schaeffer, et al. No. 14-1167 PDF 22.79kb, 28 JUL 14


Transsexual can be kept segregated, says judge

NEW ZEALAND: On 24 July 2014, Judge Arthur Tompkins in Masterton District Court said drug-addicted transsexual Victoria Crawford, allegedly charged with trespass and aggravated robbery, can be kept in segregation while on remand in a male prison.

25 July 2014

7th Circuit Sets Hearing on Gay Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, Indiana, Wisconsin: On 25 July 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit announced that the date for oral arguments in the Indiana and Wisconsin equal marriage cases had been set down for 26 August. The Court denied a request by the States for an en banc 10-member hearing, that will be before the customary 3-judge panel.

Florida judge strikes down state's same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 25 July 2014, Judge Sarah Zabel in the Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial District ruled the State same-sex marriage ban violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution and that Article 1, section 27 of Florida's Constitution is void and unenforceable. The ruling was stayed pending the outcome of an expected appeal.
• Order: Catherine Pareto, et al., v. Harvey Ruvin, et al. No. 14-1661 PDF 611.22kb, 25 JUL 14


Bologna becomes latest Italian jurisdiction to record overseas same-sex marriages

ITALY, Emilia-Romagna: On 22 July 2014, Bologna Mayor Virginio Merola announced that same-sex marriages performed lawfully outside of Italy will be recorded in the city's civil register from 15 September. The recognition will only be symbolic.

Court rejects benefit denial in same-sex case

UNITED STATES, Alaska: On 25 July 2014, the Supreme Court of Alaska held 5-0 that the denial of survivor benefits to Deborah Harris, a woman whose same-sex partner Kerry Fadely was shot to death on the job in 2011, was a violation of her equal protection rights under the law, sending the case back to a workers' compensation commission for further consideration.
• Opinion: Deborah Harris v. Millenium Hotel & New Hampshire Insurance Co. No. S-1523 PDF 116.18kb, 25 JUL 14

24 July 2014

Federal judge grants preliminary order invalidating Colorado's same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 24 July 2014, Federal District Court Judge Raymond P Moore granted a preliminary injunction in Burns v. Hickenlooper, a challenge to Colorado's same-sex marriage ban but also ruled that the proceedings will be put on hold until the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issues its mandate in Kitchen v. Herbert, the Utah marriage equality case.
• Order: Catherine Burns, et al. v. John W Hickenlooper, Jr., et al. 14-cv-01817-RM-KLM PDF 230.28kb, 23 JUL 14

Kenya court victory as transgender rights group is allowed to officially register

KENYA: On 24 July 2014, Justice George Odunga in the High Court was reported to have ruled that rights group Transgender Education and Advocacy must receive official recognition as a registered Non-Government Organization from the government, finding 'A public authority cannot be allowed to get away with discriminatory actions that deny persons their rights of assembly which is a clear abuse of the power bestowed on such an authority'.

23 July 2014

City Council expands definition of discrimination

UNITED STATES, New York: On 22 July 2014, Rochester Council voted to include gender identification and expression in the city's Municipal Codes (Order No. 2014-195). The change, which will extend to all housing, employers and organizations in the city and include finances and city services.

StarGay man sentenced for twitter debauchery in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA: On 23 June 2014, on the information of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the religious police, a court was reported to have sentenced a homosexual man to three years in prison and 450 lashes over 15 sessions for using his Twitter account to promote homosexual contacts.

22 July 2014

Maryland to Provide Transition Care to Trans State Employees

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 22 July 2014, FreeState Legal announced that the State has removed a provision that excluded coverage for any “procedure or treatment designed to alter an individual's physical characteristics to those of the opposite sex” from all health plans in the state employee health benefits program. The new gender dysphoria benefit provides coverage for medically necessary transition-related care, including hormone replacement therapy and certain surgical treatments.

Court ruling: Russian LGBT group is 'foreign agent'

RUSSIA, St Petersburg: On 21 June 2014, the Vasileostrovsky District Court of St. Petersburg ruled that the Russian LGBT rights group Coming Out is a “foreign agent” - an organization engaged in political activities on behalf of foreign countries - a category that limits its ability to communicate with Russian citizens and subjects it to extra government scrutiny.

21 July 2014

Obama Signs Gay Rights Executive Order

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 21 July 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order giving employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies. The order maintains a provision allowing religious groups with federal contracts to hire and fire based upon “religious identity”, but not “sexual orientation or gender identity”.
• Executive Order: Further Amendments to Executive Order 11478, Euqal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, and Executive Order 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity 21 JUL 14

19 July 2014

Oklahoma same-sex marriages ruled constitutional for second time

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 18 July 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld 2-1 the ruling that struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban but stayed the ruling pending an appeal.
• Opinion: Mary Bishop & Sharon Baldwin & Ors. v. Sally Howe Smith & Ors. Nos. 14-5003, 14-5006 PDF 244.37kb, 18 JUL 14

18 July 2014

Highest court makes first acknowledgment of homophobic speech as hate crime

TURKEY: On 08 May 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that calling members of the LGBT community “perverts” constitutes hate speech.
• Judgment: Sinem Hun No. 2013/5356 (In Turkish) PDF 1.61MB, 08 MAY 14

Supreme Court Puts Utah Marriages on Hold

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 18 July 2014, the US Supreme Court ordered: “The preliminary injunction issued by the United States District Court for the District of Utah, case No. 2:14-cv-00055-DAK, on May 19, 2014 (requiring state officials to recognize the legally-performed marriages of same-sex couples), is stayed pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.”
• Order in Pending Case: Herbert, Gov. of UT, et al. v. Evans, Jonell, et al. No. 14A65 PDF 27.10kb, 18 JUL 14

Colorado Supreme Court Stops Denver's Same-Sex Marriages

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 18 July 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued an order prohibiting the clerk and recorder of Denver and Adams County to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.
• Order: Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd v. State of Colorado et al. No. 2014SA212 PDF 51.98kb, 18 JUL 14

17 July 2014

Transsexuals can get married from today

HONG KONG: On 17 July 2014, one year after the Court of Final Appeal order came into effect, giving m2f transgender W the right to get married, transsexuals in Hong Kong may now also marry.

Seventh Circuit cancels oral arguments, Utah asks SCOTUS for stay

UNITED STATES, Indiana, Wisconsin: On 16 July 2014,the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, “ … on its own motion, ORDERS that the oral argument in this appeal, scheduled for Wednesday, August 13, 2014, is VACATED. A new oral argument date will be set by separate court order.”.
• Order: Marilyn Rae Baskin et al., v. Penny Bogan, et al., Midori Fujii, et al. v. Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Revenue, Pamela Lee, et al. v. Brian Abbott, et al., Virginia Wolf, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. Nos. 14-2386, 2387, 2388, 2526, 16 JUL 14

Florida judge strikes down marriage equality ban, ruling applies to one county only

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 17 July 2014, Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Luis M Garcia overturned the state's constitutional ban on marriage equality. Attorney General Pam Bondi has appealed the decision, and is expected to seek a stay pending appeal to ensure no marriages take place.
• Order: Aaron R Huntsman v. Amy Heavilin & State of Florida Case No. 2014-CA-305-K PDF 641.66kb, 17 JUL 14

16 July 2014

European court strikes down transgender marriage case

FINLAND: On 16 July 2014, the European Court of Human Rights denied the application of Heil Hämäläinen (who underwent post-marriage male-to-female gender reassignment surgery in 2009) to remain married, ruling it was not disproportionate for Finland to require the conversion of a marriage into a registered partnership.
• Judgment: Case of Hämäläinen v. Finland No. 37359/09 PDF 402.08kb, 16 JUL 14

Connecticut court affirms pre-gay marriage rights

UNITED STATES, Connecticut: On 16 July 2014, the state Supreme Court ruled that Charlotte Stacey, a widow from Middletown, formerly of Norwalk, can sue a doctor for damages in a medical malpractice case for the loss of her spouse Margaret A Mueller's companionship and income, thus expanding the common-law claim for loss of consortium.
• Opinion: Margaret A Mueller v. Isidors Teplar, et al. No. SC 18939 PDF 120.40kb, 16 JUL 14

15 July 2014

Lesbian judge appointed to Puerto Rico's Supreme Court

PUERTO RICO: On 15 July 2014, Maite Oronoz Rodríguez was sworn in as Puerto Rico's first openly gay member of the Supreme Court who at 38 years is also the youngest associate judge and fourth woman on the nine-member Court.

Malawi Solicitor General Says Country Has Suspended Anti-Gay Laws

MALAWI: On 15 July 2014, Secretary for Justice and Solicitor-General Dr Janet Chijaya-Banda reportedly told the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva that Malawi had suspended arresting people for homosexuality until its anti-gay laws are reviewed.

Croatia passes law on same-sex unions

CROATIA: On 15 July 2014, the Parliament passed 89-16 a life partnership law recognizing same-sex unions and granting them the same rights as those in traditional marriages with the exception of the right to adopt children. However, if a child does not have a second, officially recognized parent - or their other parent is dead - the same-sex partner of their biological parent will be able to become the legal guardian of the child, if they live with the couple. Otherwise, they will have the rights granted to step-parents.

14 July 2014

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sets oral arguments in Indiana and Wisconsin same-sex marriage cases for August 13

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 14 July 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ordered the Indiana and Wisconsin marriage equality cases be orally argued on 13 August 2014.
• Notice of Oral Argument: Marilyn Rae Baskin et al., v. Penny Bogan, et al., Midori Fujii, et al. v. Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Revenue, Pamela Lee, et al. v. Brian Abbott, et al., Virginia Wolf, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. Nos. 14-2386, 2387, 2388, 2526 PDF 75.10kb, 11 JUL 14

12 July 2014

Court tells Utah to recognize over 1,000 same-sex marriages

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 11 July 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ordered Utah to recognize the marriages of approximately 1,300 LGBTI couples, staying the order until 21 July pending an appeal to the US Supreme Court.
• Order: Jonell Evans, et al. v. State of Utah & Anor No. 14-4060 PDF 75.10kb, 11 JUL 14

10 July 2014

Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

FRANCE: On 08 July 2014, Conseil d'Etat (Council of State) ordered the Interior Ministry to issue a (previously denied) visa within 24 hours to allow a Senegalese man to travel to France for a wedding with his French partner due to be held Saturday in the northern town of Creil. The government was also ordered to pay compensation of 5,000 euros.

New law allows New York City transgender citizens access to gender-affirming ID

UNITED STATES, New York: On 10 July 2014, signed into law bill Int 0253-2014 to create a municipal identification card for residents who face obstacles obtaining government-issued identification, making it easier for transgender people to self-designate their gender and obtain affirming documents. The card is expected to become available in January.

09 July 2014

Colorado same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 09 July 2014, Adams County District Court Judge C Scott Crabtree ruled that the Marriage Bans violate plaintiffs' due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but he issued an immediate stay.
• Summary Judgment Order: Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd et al. v. Karen Long & Anor., G Kristian McDaneil-Miccio et al. v. State of Colorado et al. Case Nos. 13-CV-32572, 14-CV-30731 PDF 153.11kb, 09 JUL 14

08 July 2014

Homosexuality Convictions Upheld

MOROCCO: On 02 July 2014, a Moroccan appeals court upheld the convictions of men accused of homosexual acts. At least four of the six defendants in the case in central Morocco were convicted on charges that included “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex” under penal code article 489.

Out-of-state couples struggle to marry in Illinois

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 08 July 2014, it was reported that couples traveling across the border to marry in Illinois are prevented from doing so by the unamended Section 217 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act providing that “No marriage shall be contracted in this state by a party residing and intending to continue to reside in another state or jurisdiction if such marriage would be void if contracted in such other state”.

07 July 2014

Governor signs bill recognizing legal gay marriage

UNITED STATES, California: On 04 July 2014, Governor Gerry Brown signed Bill SB1306 effective 01 January 2015. The law replaces family code references to husband and wife with the word spouse and also removes limits on recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state.

05 July 2014

Parents of gay suicide teen condemn repeal of cyberbullying law

UNITED STATES, New York: On 01 July 2014, the New York Court of Appeals held by a majority that Albany County's Local Law No. 11 of 2010 (prohibiting cyber bullying) - as drafted - is overbroad and facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
• Opinion: The People v. Marquan M No. 139 PDF 34.80kb, 01 JUL 14

04 July 2014

Gender pioneers wage war with law and officialdom

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 04 July 2014, it was reported that f2m transgender Paige Phoenix received a letter from Births Deaths Marriages Victoria informing him that a cross-check with his birth certificate had revealed he was female and as under the act, marriage was between a man and woman, the marriage was invalid. To change his birth certificate he was told he would require sex reassignment surgery (not a safe option for him). He was asked to return the marriage certificate for “destruction”.

03 July 2014

Converted domestic partners eligible for different insurance

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 03 July 2014, it was reported that same-sex couples who had their domestic partnerships automatically converted to marriages have a special 60-day enrollment window (through 28 August) to apply for insurance at wahealthplanfinder.org, and if eligible for a qualified health plan will be helped through the steps to sign up.

Judge in Indiana grants same-sex divorce

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 26 June 2014, during the few days that same-sex marriage was lawful in Indiana, Monroe Circuit Judge Valeri Haughton granted m2f transgender Melanie Davis (formerly David Paul Summers) and Angela Summers a divorce. On 23 December 2013, the Court of Appeals held that the law against same-sex marriage could not be used to invalidate a marriage if one spouse later changes his or her gender identity.
• Case No. 53C08-1210-DR-000561

Fee to be waived for couples converting a civil partnership to a marriage

UNITED KINGDOM: On 03 July 2014, Culture Secretary and Minister for Equalities Sajid Javid announced in the Commons that couples who entered into civil partnerships before 29 March 2014 will face no additional costs in converting their union to a marriage - providing it is done within 12 months from 10 December 2014 the £45 fee will be waived.

10% of the world's population now lives under marriage equality

INTERNATIONAL: On 20 May 2014, when Pennsylvania made same-sex marriage lawful, 10% or 725,000,000 of the world's population of 7,176,000,000 now live in countries or jurisdictions within countries where same-sex couples may marry.

Zambia frees 2 allegedly gay men after year in prison

ZAMBIA: On 03 July 2014, Kabwe Principle Resident Magistrate John Mbuzi acquitted detainees Philip Mubiana and James Mwape of charges of violating the Zambian law against homosexual activity, ruling that the prosecution had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The pair had been in custody since 05 May 2013.

02 July 2014

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals orders Indiana to recognize one same-sex couple's marriage

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 01 July 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Indiana to recognize the legal marriage of Amy Sandler and terminally-ill Nikole Quasney, pending the outcome of the appeal.
• Order: Marilyn Rae Baskin et al., v. Penny Bogan, et al., Midori Fujii, et al. v. Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Revenue, Pamela Lee, et al. v. Brian Abbott, et al. Nos. 14-2386, 2387, 2388 PDF 879.75kb, 01 JUL 14

New Hampshire Court Sides With Ex-Partner of Girl's Birth Mother

UNITED STATES, New Hampshire: On 02 July 2014, the State Supreme Court ruled that Susan, the nom-biological ex-partner of a 12-year-old girl's mother Melissa, had made her case to be considered a parent under the law, ruling that the Uniform Parentage Act “is based on a personís conduct, not a biological connection”.
• Opinion: In Re Guardianship of Madelyn B. Nos. 2013-403, 445, 593 PDF 95.36kb, 02 JUL 14

01 July 2014

Transgenders get more passport freedoms

NETHERLANDS: On 01 July 2014, the law that allows transgenders to amend their gender on their passports more easily took effect. The law removes several bureaucratic and stringent steps, making the process more efficient. Previously, transgender individuals needed to go to the judge to have their documents amended. From now on, a document from an expert stating the individual is definitely convinced to belong to the opposite sex, will suffice.

Kentucky same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 01 July 2014, US District Court Judge John G Hepburn II ruled that Kentucky's ban on performing same-sex marriages is unconstitutional being in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The decision is stayed pending further action in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
• Memorandum Opinion and Order: Timothy Love, et al., v. Steve Beshear No. 3:13-cv-00750-JGH PDF 337.76kb, 01 JUL 14

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