March 2014

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28 March

US Recognizes Michigan Same-Sex Couple Marriages

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 28 March 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder extended federal recognition to the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples that took place in Michigan before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold, enabling the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits - which means they can file federal taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners, among other benefits.

Taiwan court rejects gay couple's appeal

TAIWAN: On 27 March 2014, the Taipei High Administrative Court rejected the appeal of a gay couple Chi Chia-wei and his partner against a government agency for refusing to register their marriage.

27 March

Lawsuit seeks to end Puerto Rico's same-sex marriage ban

PUERTO RICO: On 25 March 2014, Attorney Ada Conde filed a federal lawsuit, seeking to have her 2004 Massachusetts marriage to her partner of 14 years Ivonne Alvarez recognized. The complaint alleges the unconstitutionality of laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman, banning same-sex marriage, and preventing the recognition of such unions.

Maryland House OKs transgender rights bill, governor says he will sign into law

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 27 March 2014, the House of Delegates passed 82-57 the “Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014” (SB 212). The Bill has already passed in the Senate (32-15) and now goes to Governor Martin O'Malley for signing into law.

26 March

India's transgender community gets official recognition in country's electoral roll

INDIA: On 26 March 2014, the Election Commission, which has the task of organising the upcoming poll, reportedly has introduced an 'others' gender option for voter identity cards, enabling an estimated three million transgender men and women, eunuchs and transvestites that may range from natural intersex to male cross-dressers to vote for the first time, though only a handful of the community members have been enrolled in the category.

25 March

Tennessee Sends Religious Anti-Discrimination Bill To Governor

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 24 March 2014, the Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act SB 1793/HB 1547 passed the Senate 32-0 (passed by the Assembly 90-2 on 03 October 2013). If signed into law by Governor Haslam as expected, the Bill would permit students to express religious beliefs in their homework, artwork and written and oral assignments without academic punishment or discrimination. Opponents argue the Bill will enable discrimination against and bullying of LGBT students with impunity.

Gender identity no longer a mental illness in Victoria

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 26 March 2014, the Parliament passed the “Mental Health Bill 2014“ with amendments to include “gender identity” in Section 4(2) setting out examples of what does not constitute mental illness: “(d) that the person expresses or refuses or fails to express a particular sexual preference or sexual orientation”.

UAE court upholds six-month jail term for homosexual men

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: On 25 March 2014, the Federal Supreme Court reportedly upheld the guilty finding and six-month jail term imposed by the First Instance Court in Ajman in the case against two Muslim men charged with having intentionally committed acts of sodomy, which was proven by forensic evidence. The Ajman Court of Appeal upheld the original verdict, as did the Court of Cassation. Both men will be deported after serving their sentence.

22 March

Appeals court suspends same-sex marriages in Michigan

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 22 March 2014, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order granting a temporary stay preventing more same-sex couples from getting married in Michigan until 26 March 2014.
• Order: April Deboer and Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder No. 14-1341 PDF 240.23kb, 25 MAR 14

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21 March

State court allows transgender Oklahoman to change name

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 21 March 2014, the Court of Civil Appeals allowed the appeal of James Dean Ingram to change his name to Angela Renee Ingram, reversing Judge Graves 30 August 2012 decision.
• Opinion: In the Matter of the Application of James Dean Ingram to Change His/Her Name Case No. 111,101 PDF 115.09kb, 21 MAR 14

Civil Partnerships Bill Passed in Parliament

UNITED KINGDOM, Gibralter: On 21 March 2014, the Civil Partnership Bill 2014 (B01/2014) passed the parliament unanimously (one absentee), extending the same benefits as married couples to non-marrige couples. The Bill becomes law upon publication.
• Bill: Civil Partnership Bill 2014 (B01/2014) PDF 791.24kb, 23 JAN 14

Michigan Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Is Struck Down

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 21 March 2014, US District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman concluded in April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors that the voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution that prohibits same-sex marriage was contrary to the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. A Notice of Appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has been filed, together with a request for a stay.
• Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law: April Deboer and Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder No. 12-CV-10285 PDF 85.80kb, 21 MAR 14

20 March

$1.6 Million Damage Award Upheld in New York City Human Rights Religion/Sexual Orientation Case

UNITED STATES, New York: On 20 March 2014, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department upheld an award of $1.6 million damages on a jury verdict rendered under the New York City Human Rights Law to Mirella Salemi, on her discrimination based on religion and sexual orientation claim against Gloria's Tribeca, Inc. and its owner, Edward Globokar.
• Decision: Mirella Salemi v. Gloria's Tribeca Inc. et. al. 12024-12035 PDF 119.92KB, 20 MAR 14

Lesbian Couple Marries In Mexican State Of Guanajuato

MEXICO: On 18 March 2014, a lesbian couple only identified as Mary, 34, and Lucha, 32, reportedly became the first gay couple to marry in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

Act Legislative Council (sic) amends Births, Deaths and Marriage Act for greater recognition of trans and intersex people

AUSTRALIA, Australian Capital Territory: On 20 March 2014, the Assembly passed amendments to the Births, Deaths and Marriage Act 1997 (ACT) to provide better legal recognition for trans and intersex people - eliminating the need for gender reassignment surgery as a prerequisite for trans people to change their legal sex on their birth certificate and including the addition of the category “X”, as well as “male” and “female”.

Massachusetts Senate Passes Updates to Anti-Bullying Law

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 20 March 2014, the Senate approved 37-1 bill H 3909 strengthening anti-bullying law protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities and creating new reporting measures for schools. The House passed the Bill 26 February.

Federal Judge Denies Tennessee's Request To Halt Recognition Of Same-Sex Couples’ Marriages

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 20 March 2014, US District Judge Aleta Trauger denied Tennessee's request to put the state's recognition of three same-sex couples' marriages on hold while state officials challenge the judge's original decision.
• Memorandum and Order: Valeria Tanco and Sophie Kesty et. al. v. William Edward "Bill" Haslam et. al. No. 3:13-cv-00159 PDF 46.39kb, 20 MAR 14

19 March

Israeli parliament outlaws LGBT discrimination in schools

ISRAEL: On 18 March 2014, the Knesset voted 25-2 to pass a law amending the rights of the student prohibiting the discrimination in schools against students on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Judge stays order requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 19 March 2014, US District Judge John G. Heyburn II stayed his 27 February final order in the “Gregory Burke and Michael DeLeon & Ors. v. Steve Beshear” marriage equality case until the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati either rules on the merits of the case or orders the stay lifted.
• Memorandum Opinion and Order: Timothy Love et. al. v. Steve Beshear, et. al. No. 3:13-CV-750-JGH PDF 414.64kb, 19 MAR 14

18 March

Federal district court to hear oral arguments in Pennsylvania marriage equality case on May 28

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 14 March 2014, Federal Judge Mary A McLaughlin in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ordered that oral argument on the pending motions to dismiss and motion for summary judgment in the “Cara Palladino v. Thomas W Corbett” marriage equality case is scheduled for 28 May.
• Order: Cara Palladino et. al. v. Thomas W Corbett No. 13-5641 PDF 49.99kb, 14 MAR 14

Notice of appeal filed in Tennessee marriage equality case

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 18 March 2014, the state defendants in Tanco v. Haslam have filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, of the district court's decision in favor of the same-sex couples.
• Notice of Appeal: Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty et. al. v. William Edward "Bill" Haslam et. al. No. 3:13-cv-01159 PDF 106.43kb, 18 MAR 14

Notice of appeal filed in Kentucky marriage equality case

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 18 March 2014, Governor Steve Beshear filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the challenge to the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.
• Notice of Appeal: Gregory Burke and Michael DeLeon & Ors. v. Steve Beshear No. 3: 13-CV-750 (JGH) PDF 113.46kb, 18 MAR 14

17 March

Scottish Catholic adoption agency given green light to continue discriminating against gays

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: On 17 March 2014, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator announced it would not be appealing the Scottish Charity Appeals Panel ruling in favour of the St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society, allowing it to refuse adoptions by same-sex couples.

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14 March

Making Health Care Coverage More Accessible and Equitable For Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 14 March 2014, the US Department of Health & Human Services announced that starting next year, if an insurance company offers health care coverage to opposite-sex spouses, it cannot choose to deny that coverage to same-sex spouses. Deadline to enroll for health care coverage this year: 31 March 2014.

Federal judge rules Tennessee must recognize same-sex marriages of plaintiffs involved in federal challenge, at least temporarily

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 14 March 2014, Judge Aleta A. Trauger in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee ordered state officials to recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples during the consideration of their lawsuit challenging the validity of the state’s ban on recognizing such marriages, issuing a preliminary injunction barring officials from enforcing the Tennessee Code and Constitution.
• Memorandum: Valeria Tanco & Ors. v. William E Haslam & Ors. Case No. 3:13-cv-01159 PDF 65.87kb, 14 MAR 14
• Order: Valeria Tanco & Ors. v. William E Haslam & Ors. Case No. 3:13-cv-01159 PDF 21.62kb, 14 MAR 14
• Preliminary Injunction: Valeria Tanco & Ors. v. William E Haslam & Ors. Case No. 3:13-cv-01159 PDF 21.29kb, 14 MAR 14

13 March

Same-Sex Marriage Now Available In DeKalb County

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 13 March 2014, 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Ron Matekaitis approved an agreement in the case of Darla Cook and Jaelyn Paulsen v. Doug Johnson that same-sex couples in DeKalb County don't have to wait until 01 June to get a marriage license.

Queen signs gay marriage into law in Scotland

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: On 13 March 2014, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent. Amendments still need to be made to the UK Equality Act to enable the first marriages in Scotland by the end of this year.

12 March

European Parliament adopts new data protection laws for LGBT people

EUROPEAN UNION: On 12 March 2014, the European Parliament adopted new data protection laws specifying that “the processing of personal data, revealing race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity … shall be prohibited”, and profiling individuals based on their personal characteristics, “shall be prohibited” when it “has the effect of discriminating against individuals on the basis of race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or beliefs, trade union membership, sexual orientation or gender identity”.
• Press Release: MEPs tighten up rules to protect personal date in the digital era PDF 260.99kb, 12 MAR 14

Lesbian judicial nominee confirmed to federal court in Michigan

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 12 March 2014, the Senate voted to approve Judith Levy for a seat on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, by a vote of 97-0 along with other judicial nominees. Earlier in the day, Staci Michelle Yandle, nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois, sailed through her confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee without opposition from panel members.

Judge: Married Women Can't Divorce in Alabama

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 12 March 2014, in the uncontested divorce of Shrie Michelle Richmond and Kirsten Allysse Richmond, who were married in Iowa, 23rd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Karen Hall ordered, “This cause of action is hereby dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to the laws of this State”. Iowa law requires couples seeking a divorce in the state to live there for one year beforehand.

11 March

Legality of Anti Homosexuality Act challenged in Constitutional Court by an unprecedented coalition of petitioners; Injunction against enforcement sought

UGANDA, Kampala: On 11 March 2014, the legality of the Anti Homosexuality Act was challenged in Constitutional Court by an unprecedented coalition of petitioners and an Injunction against enforcement sought.
• Petition: Prof J Oloka-Onyango & Ors. v. Attorney General of Uganda No. 08 of 2014 PDF 1.97MB, 11 MAR 14

10 March

Appeals Court Hearing Date Set for AFER’s Marriage Case in Virginia

UNITED STTES, Virginia: On 10 March 2014, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tentatively scheduled the week of 12 May for oral arguments on Virginia's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in the Bostic v. Schaefer case (formerly Bostic v. Rainey). The court also granted the plaintiffs in a parallel case, Harris v. Rainey, permission to intervene on the side of plaintiffs in Bostic v. Schaefer.

British Columbia legislation would allow more transgender people to change sex on birth certificate

CANADA, British Columbia: On 10 March 2014, Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2014, (Bill 17), that would, if it becomes law, allow more transgender people to have the sex changed on their birth certificates. At present only those undergoing sex reassignment surgery may change their birth certificates." alt="News item summary" /> Document available

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07 March

Malaysia: Ex-Deputy Prime Minister jailed for five years on sodomy charges

MALAYASIA: On 07 March 2014, Appeals Court Judge Balia Yusof Wahi ruled that the lower court's decision to acquit former Deputy Prime Minister 66-year old Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy charges was wrong, sentencing him to five years in jail.

Virginia's House of Delegates Repeals Sodomy Ban

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 06 March 2014, the House of Delegates unanimously (100-0) passed bill SB40 that revises the “Crimes Against Nature” statute (§18.2-361), formally decriminalizing oral and anal sex between consulting adults regardless of sexual orientation. The bill is awaiting the signature of Gov. Terry McAuliffe before it goes into effect.

06 March

Nigeria court orders men whipped for gay sex

NIGERIA: On 06 March 2014, an Islamic court in Bauchi city reportedly sentenced four men aged between 20 and 22 to 15 strokes of the whip on the buttocks and a year's imprisonment if they cannot pay a fine of $120.

05 March

Mississippi city passes LGBT ordinance

UNITED STATES, Mississippis: On 04 March 2014, the Oxford Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution in support of adding sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to its diversity statement .

Gay Couples Can Now Get Illinois Marriage Licenses

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 04 March 2014, Attorney-General Lisa Madigan reportedly issued guidance that county clerks statewide can immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples even though the state law legalizing gay marriage doesn't take effect until 01June.

Gay sex ban was an oversight

UNITED KINGDOM, Isle of Man: In 1992, Section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act prohibits such activity by a man who is a crew member on a Manx-registered merchant ship - quaere female crew members are not so constrained'.

Landmark ruling rubbishes anti-gay law in Lebanon

LEBANON: In January 2014, Judge Naji al-Dahdah cleared a transsexual woman of having a same-sex relationship with a man, ruling that Article 534, which criminalizes “unnatural sexual intercourse” is not valid and did not provide a clear interpretation of what was considered unnatural.

03 March

Man Adopted In Kentucky By Member of Same-Sex Couple

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 25 February 2014, Fayette Circuit Court Judge Kathy Stein finalized the step-parent adoption of 28-year-old David Crossen by Joan Callahan, who married his mother Jennifer Leigh Crossen in Massachusetts in October.

02 March

'First public gay wedding' takes place in Burma

MYANMAR (Burma): On 02 March 2014, in Yangon, Tin Ko Ko and Myo Min Htet reportedly married in a ceremony which stayed close to traditions and customs of other Burmese weddings. The ceremony does not carry any legal recognition.

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