GayLawNews™

May 2014

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30 May 2014

ACLU Statement on Final Ruling Invalidating Medicare Ban on Healthcare for Transgender Patients

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 30 May 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services Departmental Appeals Board determined that denying Medicare coverage of all transsexual surgery as a treatment for transsexualism is not valid under the “reasonableness standard” the Board applies.
• Decision: NCD 140.3 Transsexual Surgery Decision No. 2576 PDF 571.06kb, 30 MAY 14

Colorado civil rights panel: Baker must make cakes for same-sex ceremonies

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 30 May 2014, the seven-member Civil Rights Commission in a verbal ruling unanimously upheld an administrative law judge's finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state's anti-discrimination statutes.

Queensland court rules for lesbian parents

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 09 May 2014, Justice Ann Lyons in the Supreme Court ordered that the same-sex partner of 20 years of the biological mother of two children, be registered as parent and the sperm donor father's name be removed. In 2010 Queensland laws were changed retrospectively to allow a lesbian couple to be recorded on a birth certificate as “mother” and “parent”.
• Order: A & B v C [2014] QSC 111 RTF 206kb, 09 MY 14

29 May 2014

Court dismisses man's bid against workplace homosexual discrimination

SINGAPORE: On 29 May 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the 26 December 2013 ruling of Justice Woo Bih Li and dismissed Mr Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San's bid to claim an unspecified amount in damages for constructive dismissal, ruling that his claim was without basis. Mr Wee, 40, was also ordered to pay S$20,000 in legal costs.

28 May 2014

Houston approves expanded protections for gays

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 28 May 2014, Houston City Council voted 11-6 in favor of an ordinance that consolidates city bans on discrimination in housing, employment and services provided by private businesses based on sex, race, age, religion and other categories and increases protections for gay and transgender residents. It takes effect in 30 days.

27 May 2014

State Supreme Court rejects same-sex marriage petition

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 22 May 2014, a direct challenge to the State's constitutional ban on gay marriage filed by Katherine M Halopka-Ivery and Linda M Halopka-Ivery 16 April 2014 was denied by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

24 May 2014

Costa Rica to allow gay couples to share health benefits

COSTA RICA: On 22 May 2014, the social security administration was reported to have agreed to allow same-sex couples to share health and pension benefits effective in 90 days, even though the conservative Central American country bans gay marriage.

23 May 2014

Legal victory for same-sex adoptive parents

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 21 May 2014, the Appeals Court in Daytona ruled 3-1 in a public decision to overturn the trial judge's decision to undo the adoption agreed between the biological mother and her now separated partner, restoring the adopted mother's parental rights.
• Opinion: In the Matter of the Adoption of DPP etc No. 5D13-1766 PDF 80.83kb, 22 MAY 14

Same-sex couple can adopt Roma boys, court rules

UNITED KINGDOM: On 23 May 2014, Judge Sir James Munby in the Family Division of the High Court ruled a same-sex couple could adopt a Roma couple's two sons, finding that the parents' views, whether religious, cultural, secular or social, are entitled to respect but cannot be determinative. The needs of the children outweighed the adoption's impact on their Roma identity.
• Judgment: In the Matter of J and S (Children) [2014] EWFC 4 PDF 80.83kb, 23 MAY 14

Homosexual couples win limited adoption rights

GERMANY: On 22 May 2014, effective immediately the Bundestag voted to give same-sex pairs the right to adopt their partner's child. As of January 2005, a person can adopt the biological child of their partner, but even after the latest reform, homosexual partners do not have the legal right to jointly adopt a child.

22 May 2014

Federal challenge to South Dakota’s same-sex marriage

UNITED STATES, South Dakota: On 22 May 2014, a complaint was filed in US District Court of South Dakota on behalf of six same sex couples, challenging the State's ban on same-sex marriage.
• Complaint: Jenny and Nancy Rosenbrahn, et al v. Dennis Daugaard et al No: 4:14-cv-04081-KES PDF 2.53MB, 22 MAY 14
Homosexual cohabitation to be registered in Estonia

ESTONIA: On 22 May 2014, the government approved of the draft “On cohabitation”, permitting to register joint living of unisexual couples. It is planned that the law will enter into force in January 2015.

21 May 2014

Waveland passes resolution favoring LGBT community

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 21 May 2014, the Waveland City Council was reported to have unanimously passed an anti-discrimination resolution recognizing the dignity and worth of all city residents -- including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Judge OKs transgender Lynchburg woman's name change

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 21 May 2014, Lynchburg Circuit Court Judge F. Patrick Yeatts granted the application of Julianna Tourmaline Fialkowski, 24, to change her name from Joseph David Fialkowski. The Judge had previously denied the application in January.

ACLU Sues for Freedom to Marry in Montana

UNITED STATES, Montana: On 21 May 2014, the ACLU filed a complaint in the US District Court, Montana on behalf of four couples challenging the ban on same-sex marriage and the recognition of out-of-state marriages.
• Complaint: Angela Rolando and Tonya Rolando & Ors. v. Tim Fox, Michael Kadas & Anor. PDF 783.73kb, 21 MAY 14
Topeka approves city same sex partner registry

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 20 May 2014, the Topeka City Council approved two ordinances (5-3) establishing a city domestic partnership registry for same-sex and opposite-sex couples who are not married and banning the city from discriminating in employment and hiring based on gender identity.

20 May 2014

Prop. 8 donor IDs remain public, appeals court rules

UNITED STATES, California: On 20 May 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to exempt backers of California's former ban on same-sex marriage from the state's campaign disclosure laws, which publicly identify all contributors of $100 or more. The Plaintiffs-Appellants sought to require the state to remove the names from its website and exempt them from the law in any future campaigns on related issues.
• Opinion: Protect Marriage.com - Yes on 8 & Ors. v. Debra Bowen & Ors. PDF 232.96kb, 20 MAY 14

Gay blood ban lifted for monogamous couples

SOUTH AFRICA: On 20 May 2014, the South African National Blood Service unveiled a new blood donation policy favouring people in stable monogamous relationships for more than six months. All people - regardless of gender or sexual orientation - will be banned from giving blood for six months after having sex with a new partner, and anyone with multiple sexual partners will remains banned from doing so.

Federal judge strikes down Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 20 May 2014, US District Judge John E Jones III ruled Pennsylvania's statutory same-sex marriage ban violates the principles of equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional. There was no stay discussed in the opinion.
• Order: Deb Whitewood, et at., v. Michael Wolf No 1:13-cv-01861-JEJ PDF 125.42kb, 20 MAY 14
• Memorandum Opinion: Deb Whitewood, et at., v. Michael Wolf No 1:13-cv-01861-JEJ PDF 332.04kb, 20 MAY 14

19 May 2014

Lesbian widow announces she is granted survivor benefits

UNITED STATES: On 17 May 2014, North Carolina National Guardsman and Iraq veteran Tracy Dice Johnson, who was married to National Guard Staff Sergeant Donna Johnson killed in a suicide bomber attack in Khost, Afghanistan in 2012, announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs had reviewed her case and that she had been granted the same survivor benefits as straight spouses.

Gay marriage in Oregon: Licenses granted in 2004 no longer valid

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 19 May 2014, Multnomah County Assessor Randy Walruff said gay couples who married in 2004 must obtain a new marriage license if they wish to be married now, the Attorney General having deemed the marriage void. Those couples who have not received a $60 refund should contact the Department of State Lands, where Multnomah County has deposited all uncollected refunds. Couples who have domestic partnerships must also obtain a marriage license if they want to be legally married. The county will continue offering domestic partnerships for couples who do not wish to get married.

Federal judge orders Utah to recognize legally performed same-sex marriages

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 19 May 2014, US District Judge Dale A Kimball issued a preliminary injunction requiring state officials to recognize the legally-performed marriages of same-sex couples in the state before the Supreme Court issued its stay. Between 20 December 2013 and 06 January 2014, the State of Utah issued marriage licenses to over 1,300 same-sex couples.
• Memorandum Decision and Order: Evans v. Utah No. 2:14CV55DAK PDF 186.89kb, 19 May 14

Federal judge strikes down Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 19 May 2014, US District Judge Michael McShane ruled a voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. A request by the National Organization for Marriage to intervene was denied and an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking an emergency stay of that decision was also denied, allowing same-sex marriages to proceed.
• Opinion: Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson and Robert Deuhmig and William Griesar v. John Kitzhaber and Ellen Rosenblum Case 6:13-cv-08134-MC PDF 514.66kb, 19 MAY 144

16 May 2014

Uganda Criminalizes HIV Transmission, Mandates Testing

UGANDA: On 13 May 2014, the parliament unanimously passed the “HIV Prevention and Management Bill” that will - if signed into law - not only criminalize HIV transmission imposing 10-year jail sentences for the 'willful and intentional' transmission of HIV in the East African country, but also mandates HIV testing for pregnant women and their partners, and allows doctors to disclose a patient's status without their consent.

15 May 2014

Arkansas Supreme Court Halts Marriage Equality

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 16 May 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay of the 15 May 2014 order of Circuit Court Judge Christopher Piazza halting same-sex marriages pending an appeal.
• Final Order: M Kendall Wright, et al. v. State of Arkansas et al. No. CV-14-414 PDF 133.37kb, 15 MAY 14
• Order Entering Final Order: M Kendall Wright, et al. v. State of Arkansas et al. No. CV-14-414 PDF 85.66kb, 15 MAY 14

Israel to lower minimum age requirement for gender reassignment surgery

ISRAEL: On 13 May 2014, the Ministry of Health reportedly announced it was lowering the minimum age requirement to be approved for a sex change from 21 to 18. The rules also state that gender reassignment candidates must live a minimum of only one year with their new gender identity, rather than two.

Morocco jails, will exile six men for being gay

MOROCCO: On 12 May 2014, the Faqih Bensalah court convicted six men for homosexuality, inciting prostitution, mediating in prostitution and being drunk in public, sentencing them to one, two and three years in jail and ordering that they be expelled from the town and never allowed to return on completion of their jail terms.

Arkansas judge clarifies order in same-sex marriage case

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 15 May 2014, Circuit Court Judge Christopher Piazza corrected and retroactively made final his 09 May Order. The state has filed its notice of appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
• Final Order: M Kendall Wright, et al. v. State of Arkansas et al. No. CV-14-414 PDF 133.37kb, 15 MAY 14
• Order Entering Final Order: M Kendall Wright, et al. v. State of Arkansas et al. No. CV-14-414 PDF 85.66kb, 15 MAY 14

14 May 2014

Arkansas Supreme Court dismisses appeal, denies stay in same-sex marriage case

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 14 May 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court contended that Circuit Court judge Chris Piazza's order, which struck down statutory and constitutional prohibitions on same-sex marriage, was incomplete, as it did not render void all of the state's laws referring to marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman, essentially putting an end to marriage equality in the state for the moment. The court returned the question of the legality of same-sex marriage to Piazza's court.
• Opinion: Nathaniel Smith & Ors., v. M Kendall Wright & Ors. No. CV-14-414 PDF 231.3kb, 14 MAY 14

New South Wales "gay panic" defence laws officially abolished

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 14 May 2014, the Crimes Amendment (Provocation) Bill 2014 passed the legislature and awaits assent. The Bill removes the legal foundation for the use of the Homosexual Advance Defence, a common-law creation of the partial defence of provocation, in cases involving a non-violent sexual advance.

13 May 2014

Federal judge in Idaho strikes down state ban on marriage for same-sex couples

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 13 May 2014, US Magistrate Judge Candy W Dale in the US District Court for the District of Idaho ruled that Idaho's 2006 law, which amended the state constitution to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, violates the U.S. Constitution. The ruling to take effect on Friday 16 May unless the appellate court grants a stay.
• Memorandum Decision and Order: Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers et. al v. C.L. "Butch" Otter & Anor No.13-cv-00482 CWD PDF 229.29kb, 13 MAY 14

08 May 2014

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

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 09 May 2014, Circuit Court Judge Christopher Charles Piazza ruled the Arkansas constitutional and legislative ban on same-sex marriage through Act 144 of 1997 and Amendment 83 is unconstitutional. The judgment was not stayed." alt="News item summary" />
• Order: Kendall Wright, et al. v. State of Arkansas, et al. No: 60CV-13-2622 PDF 1.90MB, 09 MAY 14

08 May 2014

CCJ grants Jamaican homosexual leave to challenge legislation in T&T and Belize

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, BELIZE: On 08 May 2014, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) granted Jamaican Maurice Tomlinson special leave to commence proceedings within 7 days against Trinidad and Tobago and Belize after he claimed that their existing legislations impinged upon his right to free movement, the immigration acts of Trinidad and Tobago and Belize preventing homosexuals from entering.
• Judgment: Maurice Tomlinson v The State of Belize & The State of Trinidad & Tobago CCJ Application Nos. OA 1 & 2 of 2013, PDF 135.73kb, 08 MAY 14

Judge: Indiana Must Still Recognize 1 Gay Marriage

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 08 May 2014, US District Judge Richard Young in the US District Court granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction so requiring the State of Indiana to recognize a lesbian couple's out-of-state marriage and have one of the women named as a spouse on her terminally ill partner's death certificate.
• Entry on Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction: Marilyn Rae Raskin & Esther Fuller & Ors v. Penny Bogan & Ors No: 1:14-cv-00355-RLY-TAB PDF 252.03kb, 08 MAY 14

07 May 2014

UK: Lesbian wins landmark baby battle with ex-partner

UNITED KINGDOM: On 02 May 2014, Justice Peter Jackson at the Royal Courts of Justice, found that Ms L was instrumental in artificially inseminating her then partner Ms C by syringe with anonymous donor sperm and that she subsequently provided loving care of the child G after the birth. C later removed the child to Ireland. The Court declared that at the date of G's removal from England on 3 January 2014 family life within the meaning of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights existed between G and Ms L., opening the way for L to seek joint residency of the child.
• Judgment: Ms L and Ms C [2014] EWFC 1280, 02 MAY 14

Peru rejects change of gender for transgender individuals on national identity document

PERU: On 07 March 2014, the Tribunal Constitucional was reported to have struck down 4-2 transgender woman P.E.'s request that she be allowed to change her gender from male to female on her national identity document.

05 May 2014

Transgender Woman Secures Name Change After Judge Initially Denies Filing Fee Waiver Request

UNITED STATES, New York: On 04 March 2014, with assistance of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Michael David Puglisi obtained a fee waiver consent order enabling him to change his name to Mikell Davianna Puglisi. On 18 December 2013, Justice Ralph A Boniello III at Niagara Falls rejected her request for a fee waiver - not because she failed to meet income requirements - but simply because it was for a name change. New York provides fee waivers to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the courts, regardless of income.
• Consent Order: In the Matter of the Application of Michael David Puglisi No. 151766 PDF 52.82Kkb, 20 MAR 14

04 May 2014

Boone County judge grants gay couple a divorce

UNITED STATES, Missouri: In April 2014, Boone County Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider granted a divorce for Dena and Samantha Latimer, who were married in Massachusetts in 2009 and lived in Columbia, ruling that under the legal doctrine of “comity”, which essentially means the recognition of the laws of another jurisdiction, a Missouri court can recognize the law of where the marriage was performed “for the limited purpose of granting equitable relief”.
• Judgment: In Re the Marriage of Dena Marie Latimer and Natalie Samantha Latimer No. 13BA-FC00363 PDF 223.53kb, 10 APR 14

03 May 2014

Idaho judge approves the adoption of boys being raised by a Boise same-sex couple

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 02 May 2014, Ada County Magistrate Judge Cathleen MacGregor Irby approved Darcy Simpson's adoption of two sons, Tray (15) and Dalton (12), who told the judge they consented. The case was initially dismissed by the judge and on appeal, the Supreme Court held in February that “any adult person” may adopt. In 2013, Rene and Darcy Simpson married in California.

02 May 2014

Anti-Discrimination Bill Adopted

GEORGIA: On 02 May 2014, the Georgia Parliament adopted 115 votes to 0, legislation on the “Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination”, providing for protection from discrimination on the grounds race, color, language, gender, age, citizenship, native identity, birth, place of residence, property, social status, religion, ethnic affiliation, profession, family status, health condition, disability, expression, political or other beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, and “other grounds”.

Iowa Legislature Passes HIV Transmission Bill

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 01 May 2014, the legislature passed Senate File 2297, a measure lessening the penalties for people who unknowingly expose someone to HIV with no intention of infecting them and making people eligible for 25 year sentences only if they intend to transmit a disease without someone's knowledge. The measure has yet to be signed by the Governor.

Judge orders Ohio to resume hormone treatment for transgender inmate

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 02 May 2014, Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the state to permanently continue providing Mansfield Correctional Institution inmate Whitney Lee with hormone treatments for the rest of her time behind bars.

Anger as French judge blocks lesbian couple's adoption

FRANCE: On 02 May 2014, a judge in Versailles was reported to have prevented a French lesbian couple's non-biological mother from adopting a 4-year old infant conceived through artificial insemination in Belgium, ruling that under French law that procedure is not explicitly open to lesbian couples.

Transgender surgery procedure set forth

SAUDI ARABIA: On 02 May 2014, it was reported that a circular had been issued notifying that the Ministry of Health will determine which transgender patients are eligible for gender reassignment surgery (GRS) according to the recommendations of a specialized medical team after referral to both the health and justice ministers if there are family disputes over the matter.

01 May 2014

Washington Supreme Court Gets First LGBT Justice

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 30 April 2014, Justice Mary Yu was appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court, making her the first openly LGBT, Latina, and Asian-American person to sit on the high court Yu will be sworn in later this month.

Russia's 'Gay Propaganda' Law Takes Effect in Crimea

RUSSIA, Crimea: On 01 May 2014, authorities in the Crimean Peninsula reportedly canceled a Pride march and are planning more serious measures to eradicate the 'experimental practice of sodomy' in Crimea.

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