November 2014

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28 November 2014

Judge To Take Second Look At Divorce Granted To Same-Sex Couple

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 04 November 2014, Judge George P McCarthy in the Athens County Common Pleas Court adopted the recommendation of Magistrate Melinda Bradford that a divorce be granted to Brenda Mohney Erin O'Leary who were married in 2008 in California however, Judge McCarthy said he signed an entry without recognizing it was a same-sex divorce and will now hold a hearing on whether the ruling should be vacated.

Finnish Parliament approves same-sex marriage

FINLAND: On 28 November 2014, the Parliament voted 105-92 with 1 absentee to approve a gender-neutral marriage bill. The law will not take effect until 2016 at the earliest as the bill will now proceed to the Finnish Parliament's Grand Committee before returning to be reviewed by all members of parliament.

26 November 2014

Same-sex surrogacy: Landmark decision in Victoria as gay man recognised by court as father of child born through surrogacy

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 06 November 2014, Judge Johns in the Family Court of Australia ordered that a gay man be recognised as the father of a child born overseas in India through commercial surrogacy and that he and his partner have equal shared parenting responsibilities.
• Reasons for Judgment: Green-Wilson and Bishop [2014] FamCA 1031 PDF 90.82kb, 06 NOV 14

25 November 2014

New York court says state can seek new indictment in overturned hate crime case

UNITED STATES, New York: On 24 November 2014, Judge Read for the New York Court of Appeals concurred with a lower court which overturned Dwight R DeLee's conviction and prison sentence. DeLee was acquitted (2009) by a jury of simple manslaughter, but convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime, which carries steeper penalties, in the shooting of a transgendered woman in Syracuse. That Court found that the jury verdict was legally impossible because DeLee could not have committed manslaughter as a hate crime without also committing manslaughter. The court of appeal said prosecutors could seek a new trial for DeLee on the hate crime charge.
• Opinion: The People &c., v. Dwight R Lee No. 198 PDF 26.27kb, 24 NOV 14

Federal judge strikes down Arkansas gay marriage ban, ruling stayed

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 25 November 2014, Judge Kristine G Baker in the US District Court struck down Arkansas' voter-approved gay marriage ban as unconstitutional, staying her order pending the final disposition of any timely appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals or until the time for filing a notice of appeal expires.
• Opinion and Order: Rita and Pam Jernigan and Becca and Tara Austin v. Larry Crane, et al. No. 4:13-cv-00410 KGB PDF 183.42kb, 25 NOV 14

Federal judge overturns Mississippi same-sex marriage ban, ruling stayed

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 25 November 2014, Judge Carlton W Reeves in the US District Court overturned the State's ban on same-sex marriage, staying his order for 14 days pending the filing of an expected appeal to or an order from the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or the US Supreme Court.
• Memorandum Opinion and Order: Campaign for Southern Equality, Rebecca Bickett, et al., v. Phil Bryant No. 3:14-CV-818-CWR-LRA PDF 230.99kb, 25 NOV 14

24 November 2014

Ninth Circuit won't reconsider NOM's bid to appeal Oregon gay marriage ruling

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 24 November 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, denied the petition of the National Organization for Marriage for an en banc (full court) review of the 27 August 2014 decision dismissing their motion to appeal.
• Order: Deanna L Geiger, et al. v. John Kitzhaber v. National Organization for Marriage, Inc. No. 14-35427 PDF 41.83kb, 24 NOV 14

22 November 2014

Ninth Circuit Grants Governor Leave to Appeal in Idaho Same Sex Marriage Case

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 21 November 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted in part Governor Ottor's motion for leave to file a reply in support for rehearing en banc (full court) of the Susan Latta, et al. v. C L Otter, et al. same-sex marriage case.
• Order: Susan Latta, et al. v. C L Otter, et al. Nos. 14-35420, 14-35421 PDF 71.16kb, 21 NOV 14

Mississippi Supreme Court schedules arguments in same-sex divorce case

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 22 November 2014, the Mississippi Supreme Court reportedly would will hear arguments 21 January 2015, from Lauren Czekala-Chatham, who wants the state to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce from Dana Ann Melancon.

Ninth Circuit sets schedule for Montana AG’s appeal of gay marriage ruling

UNITED STATES, Montana: On 21 November 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a Time Schedule Order in the Rolondo v. Fox same-sex marriage case. Arguments are due 27 February.
• Time Schedule Order: Rolondo v. Fox No. 14-35987 PDF 156.84kb, 19 NOV 14

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21 November 2014

Gambia approves law that would jail some gays for life

GAMBIA: On 09 October 2014, President Yahya Jammeh reportedly signed a bill into law that calls for life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality” which targets “serial offenders” and people living with HIV or AIDS and persons engaging in homosexual acts with someone who is under 18, disabled or drugged or in authority over another person.

20 November 2014

Supreme Court declines to stop South Carolina same-sex marriages

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 20 November 2014, US Supreme Court denied a stay request filed by South Carolina's attorney general in the 'Wilson, Att'y Gen. of SC v. Condon, Colleen T., et al.' same-sex marriage ban case.
• Order in Pending Case: Wilson, Att'y Gen. of SC v. Condon, Colleen T., et al. No. 14A533 PDF 26.76kb, 20 NOV 14

Ninth Circuit won't hear Alaska marriage appeal with 11-judge panel

UNITED STATES, Alaska: On 18 November 2014, in a text only order the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied an initial en banc (full court) review in Hamby v. Parnell, the challenge to Alaska's same-sex marriage ban.

19 November 2014

Montana same-sex marriage ban struck down

UNITED STATES, Montana: On 19 November 2014, US District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled Montana's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, ordering State officials not to enforce the ban. There is no stay, the injunction takes immediate effect.
• Order: Angela Rolands and Tonya Rolando, et al., v. Tim Fox, et al. No. CV-14-40-GF-BMM PDF 75.29kb, 19 NOV 14

18 November 2014

House of Lords approves civil partnership conversion regulations in time for Christmas

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 18 November 2014, the House of Lords passed regulations with effective from 10 December, for converting civil partnerships to marriage, including the option of a conversion ceremony in a church, synagogue, meeting house and other venues and also allowing a previously married transgender person to remain married.

Israel issues new ID cards to children of same-sex parents

ISRAEL: On 17 November 2014, the Interior Ministry started issuing new identity cards to the children of gay parents that recognize they have two fathers or mothers. Previously, all ID cards listed 'mother's name' and 'father’s name'. On the new cards, 'father's name' or 'mother's name' appear twice.

Kansas Supreme Court lifts stay on marriages in Johnson County, puts case on hold pending outcome of federal case

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 18 November 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court lifted the stay on the 08 November Adminstrative Order 14-11 of Tenth Judicial District Judge Kevin P Moriarty allowing marriages in Johnson County, though putting the case on hold pending outcome of the federal US District Court case of Marie v. Moser.
• Order: State of Kansas ex rel. Derek Schmidt v. Kevin P Moriaty et al. No. 112,590 PDF 279.18kb, 18 NOV 14

Fourth Circuit declines to issue stay in South Carolina same-sex marriage case

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 18 November 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stay a lower court ruling from 12 November that struck down South Carolina's marriage ban and marriages may commence on Thursday 20 November. The State has filed an Emergency Application to the US Supreme Court to stay the District Court Order in this matter. On the same day, Judge J Michelle Childs in the US District Court, Columbia Division, ruled in the Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin v. Nimrata (Nikki) Randhawa Haley and Alan Wilson case that the state's ban on recognizing legal same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
• 4th Circuit Order: Anne Nichols Bleckley; Colleen Therese Condon v. Alan Wilson et al. No. 14-2241 PDF 18.69kb, 18 NOV 14
• Emergency Application to US Supreme Court to Stay US District Court Order: Alan Wilson v. Colleen Therese Condon and Anne Nichols Bleckley No. A14- PDF 3.39M, 18 NOV 14
• District Court Order: Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin v. Nimrata (Nikki) Randhawa Haley and Alan Wilson PDF 99.52kb, 18 NOV 14

17 November 2014

Judge orders marriage licenses for same-sex couples in 3 Kansas counties

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 17 October 2014, following the US Supreme Court denial of the request of the State Kansas for a stay in the Kail Marie, et al., v. Robert Moser same-sex marriage case, Chief Judge A.J. Wachter was reported to have ordered 11th Judicial District of Cherokee, Crawford and Labette counties to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Oklahoma now has same-sex divorce as well as same-sex marriage

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 15 October 2014, Oklahoma County Special District Judge Lisa Hammond granted Deanne R Baker a divorce from Julie L Baker who she married in Iowa in July 2012. Previously, on 19 August 2014, Special Judge Don Andrews vacated the decree of dissolution of marriage granted 18 August 2014.
• Court Record: In Re the marriage of Deanne R Baker v. Julie L Baker No. FD-2014-2711, 15 OCT 14

Supreme Court asked to review Michigan, Kentucky same-sex marriage cases

UNITED STATES, Kentucky, Michigan: On 17 November 2014, petitions were filed in the US Supreme Court seeking a review of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion upholding the same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky and Michigan.
• Petition for a Writ of Certiorari: Timothy Love, et al., and Gregory Bourke, et al., v. Steve Beshear No. 14-574 PDF 259.31kb, 17 NOV 14
• Petition for a Writ of Certiorari: April Deboer, et al., v. Richard Snyder, et al. No. 14-571 PDF 506.50kb, 17 NOV 14

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14 November 2014

Supreme Court asked to review Ohio, Tennessee marriage cases

UNITED STATES, Ohio, Tennessee: On 14 November 2014, a joint petition was filed in the US Supreme Court seeking a review of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion upholding the same-sex marriage bans in Ohio and Tennessee. Responses are due by 15 December, perhaps earlier. Petitions are also expected in the Kentucky and Michigan 6th Circuit cases.
• Joint Petition for a Writ of Certiorari: Henry v. Hodges and Obergefell v. Hodges No. 14-556 PDF 1.29MB, 14 NOV 14

Court rules gay men who shared house for seven years were 'friends with benefits'

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 06 November 2014, Federal Circuit Court Judge John Coker said in his judgment he was “not overly convinced” that there was a de facto relationship between Regan and Walsh such as to found a claim against Walsh's property because the younger man Regan could not provide evidence of contributing to household expenses, declaring that a de facto relationship never existed between the Regan and the Walsh and ordering the application be dismissed.
• Declaration and Order: Regan & Walsh [2014] FCCA 2535 Word 171kb, 06 NOV 14

Mexico City Lawmakers Approve Transgender Rights Bill

MEXICO, Mexico City: On 14 November 2014, it was reported that Mexico City lawmakers approved 42-0 with 6 abstentions, a Bill proposed by Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, that would legally allow transgender people to change their gender without the previously required court order.

Historic ruling in Botswana: Gay sex is illegal but gay rights group must be allowed

BOTSWANA: On 14 November 2014, the High Court ruled that government had acted unconstitutionally when they blocked the group, Legabibo (Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana), from registering. The Court emphasised the importance of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly in a democracy.
• Judgment: Thuto Rammoge, et al. v. Attorney General MAHB-000175-13 PDF 13.61MB, 14 NOV 14

12 November 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan Domestic Partner Health Care Ban

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 12 November 2014, U.S. District Court Judge David M. Lawson found that the law that would have barred many public entities from providing health insurance to the domestic partners of their employees was discriminatory and unconstitutional.
• Opinion and Order: Theresa Bassett, et al. v. Richard Snyder No. 12-10038 PDF 108.34kb, 12 NOV 14

Supreme Court denies stay in Kansas marriage case

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 12 November 2014, the US Supreme Court denied the request of the State Kansas for a stay in the Kail Marie, et al., v. Robert Moser same-sex marriage case. Justice Sotomayor referred the request to the whole Court. Justices Scalia and Thomas noted that they would grant the stay request.
• Order: Moser, Robert, et al. v. Marie, Kail, et al. No. 14A503, 12 NOV 14

Oklahoma Supreme Court rules in gay parents' case

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 12 November 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a lesbian woman who helped raise her partner's two biological children is entitled to a court hearing on her claim for parental rights and what is in the best interest of the children.
• Opinion: Julie Eldridge v. Karen Taylor No. 2014 OK 92 PDF 44.76kb, 12 NOV 14

South Carolina same-sex marriage ban struck down

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 12 November 2014, US District Court Judge Richard Mark Gergel found the State's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, granting a permanent injunction against enforcing the law, temporarily stayed until 20 November pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit.
• Order: Coleen T Condon and Ann N Bleckley v. Nimrata Haley, et al. No. 2:14-cv-04010-RMG PDF 1.22MB, 12 NOV 14

09 November 2014

Russia: Same-sex couple allowed to marry in St Petersburg

RUSSIA, St Petersburg: On 07 November 2014, m2f transsexual Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova married in a St Petersburg registry office. Ms Shumilov is still treated as a man by the state though presenting herself in a wedding dress and holding bouquet of flowers.

08 November 2014

New Anti-LGBT Legislation Drafted In Uganda

UGANDA: On 08 November 2014, a new draft anti-gay Bill (called the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill of 2014 dated 29 October 2014) prepared by a government committe to replace the struck down Anti-Homosexuality Act has reportedly been sent to the office of President Yoweri Museveni and newly named Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda. The draft includes a new Section 2 making the provision of “funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practices” and in Section 4 to “make a representation … by whatever means of a person engaged in real or fictitious unnatural sexual practices” unlawful.
• Draft Bill: The Prohibition of the Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill of 2014 PDF 1.72MB, 29 OCT 14

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07 November 2014

North Carolina's top GOP lawmakers appeal same-sex marriage ruling

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 06 November 2014, a Notice of Appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the case of Gerber v. Cooper was filed in the District Court on behalf of Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis after state Attorney General Roy Cooper declared all potential legal defenses were exhausted.
• Intervenor-Defendants' Notice of Appeal: Ellen V Gerber, et al. v. Roy Cooper, et al., and Thom Tillis No. 1:14-cv-00299 PDF 47.71kb, 06 NOV 14

Missouri's ban on gay marriage struck down by federal judge - state will appeal

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 07 November 2014, US District Court Judge Ortrie D Smith ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that that couples statewide can obtain marriage licenses. The effects of the judgment will be stayed until the judgment is final.
• Order and Opinion: Kyle Lawson, et al. v. Robert T Kelly No. 14-0622-CV-W-ODS PDF 68.62kb, 07 NOV 14

West Virginia same-sex marriage ban struck down

UNITED STATES, West Virginia: On 07 November 2014, Chief Judge Robert C Chambers in the US District Court denied the State's motion for continuance and granted the Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in the same-sex marriage case Casie Jo McGee and Sarah Elizabeth Adkins, et al., v. Karen S Cole, et al.
• Judgment Order: Casie J McGee and Sarah Elizabeth Adkins, et al. v. Kern S Cole, et al. No. 3:13-24068 PDF 59.65kb, 07 NOV 14

Malaysia court scraps cross-dressing ban

MALAYSIA: On 07 November 2014, Judge Mohamad Yunus in the High Court in Seremban overturned a law that bans Muslim transgender women from wearing female clothing in Negeri Sembilan, saying it was 'degrading, oppressive and inhumane'. The landmark ruling that could trigger similar challenges in other states.
• Judgment: Muhamad Juzailu Bin Mohd Khamis, et al. v. State Government of Negeri Sembilan, et al. No. 37359/09 PDF 1.93MB, 07 NOV 14

06 November 2014

Sixth Circuit upholds same-sex marriage bans

UNITED STATES, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee: On 06 November 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriaage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. In contrast, the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have struck the bans down, making it more likely that the US Supreme Court will eventually make a ruling.
• Opinion: April DeBoer, et al. v. Richard Snyder, et al., James Obergefell, et al., v. Richard Hodges, Brittani Henry, et al. v. Richard Hodges, et al., Greghory Bourke, et al. v. Steve Beshear, Valeria Tanco, et al. v. William Edward "Bill" Haslam, et al., Timothy Love, et al. v. Steve Beshear Nos. 14-1341, 14-3057, 14-3463, 14-5291, 14-5297, 14-5818 PDF 361.86kb, 11 JUN 14

05 November 2014

Lesbian equality lawyer makes history as first out Attorney General

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 04 November 2014, equality lawyer Maura Healey, who fought against the Defence of Marriage Act, made history this week when voters elected her to become the first out Attorney General in a US state. She will take office in January 2015.

Missouri judge rules same-sex couples in St. Louis can get married

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 05 November 2014, 22nd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Rex M Burlison ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The ruling, which applies to St. Louis, upholds the June issuance of four marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
• Order and Judgment: State of Missouri v. Jennifer Florida No. 1422-CC09027 PDF 138.31kb, 05 NOV 14

Judge blocks same-sex city benefits, for now

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 05 November 2014, State District Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction ordering the city of Houston to stop offering health and life insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of married employees.

04 November 2014

Federal judge bars enforcement of Kansas same-sex marriage ban

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 04 November 2014, US District Judge Daniel D Crabtree found the State's same-sex marriage ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and issued a preliminary injunction barring Kansas officials from enforcing the ban, temporarily staying the order until 11 November pending a State appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
• Memorandum and Order: Kail Marie, et al., v. Robert Moser No. 14-cv-02518-DDC/TJJ PDF 661.11kb, 04 NOV 14

01 November 2014

Egypt jails eight men for appearing in video of gay wedding

EGYPT: On 01 November 2014, eight men who appeared in a viral video purporting to show a gay wedding on a Nile riverboat, were reportedly charged with “inciting debauchery and offending public morality” and sentenced (in the Qasr Al-Nil Court) to three years imprisonment followed by three years probation. A justice ministry forensic unit spokesman said that an anal exam of the defendants confirmed that the they had not practiced anal sex.

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