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December 2015

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31 December 2015

Gambia's parliament bans female genital mutilation

GAMBIA: On 28 December 2015, the parliament passed a bill banning female genital mutilation. A person who engages in female circumcision could face up to three years in prison or a fine of 50,000 dalasi ($1,250). If the act results in death, a person could face life imprisonment.

Colorado appeals court: State patrol discriminated against gay officer

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 31 December 2015, the State Court of Appeals found that the Colorado State Patrol intentionally discriminated against a former high-ranking officer when it denied him re-employment after agency leaders learned he is gay. However, the Court reversed a lower court decision to award former State Patrol Capt. Brett Williams almost $595,526 in front pay as state law does not permit the award. Williams will be allowed to keep $172,742 in back pay. Case remanded back to the state personnel board to review the damages awarded and question of Williams reinstatement.

30 December 2015

Lesbian couple ordered to hand toddler back to biological mother

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 30 November 2015, Justice Michael Kent in the Family Court of Australia at Brisbane ordered a baby girl (born June 2013) who was relinquished by her mother at birth into the quasi-adoptive care of lesbian couple Ms Blaze and Ms Darnley, be ''transitioned'' back to her biological family after the mother later 'changed her mind'. The Court ordered the girl's surname to be changed from Blaze-Darnley to Grady-Harper and as part of the transition process, the girl will spend one weekend a month with Ms Blaze and Ms Darnley, however they will have no legal parental responsibility for her.
• Judgment: Blaze & Anor v. Grady & Anor [2015] FamCA 1064 30 NO15

29 December 2015

New domestic abuse law comes into force

UNITED KINGDOM: On 29 December 2015, the coming into force of the Serious Crime Act 2015 means that those who subject spouses, partners and family members to psychological and emotional torment but stop short of violence and include a pattern of threats, humiliation and intimidation and makes offenders liable for up to five years imprisonment.
•Home Office Guidance: Controlling or Coercive Behavior in an Intimate or Family Relationship PDF 296.21kb, 04 DEC 15

Turkey's first openly gay referee Dinçda who was sacked wins lawsuit against football federation

TURKEY: On 29 December 2015, an Istanbul Court ruled that Halil Ibrahim Dinçda was discriminated against by the Turkish Football Federation when a report of his exemption from military service due to his sexual orientation became known. The TFF said his dismissal was because those who do not complete their national military service due to 'diseases' cannot be a referee. The Court ordered the TFF to pay TL 23,000 ($7,900) in compensation.

28 December 2015

Judge dismisses lawsuit of student who called lesbianism 'perverse' in college essay

UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 22 September 2015, Chief US District Judge M. Christina Armijo dismissed Monica Pompeo's claims that the University of New Mexico violated her First Amendment right to free speech after considering further evidence revealing that Pompeo's professors gave her several opportunities to rewrite her essay to follow academic standards and substantiate her opinions with critical analysis and were within the realm of teaching. An appeal against the dismissal was filed in the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on 14 October 2015.
Memorandum Opinion and Order: Monica Pompeo v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico No. 13-0833 MCA/CG PDF 111.74kb 22 SEP 15

Groundbreaking ruling recognizes same-sex common-law marriage in Utah

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 04 December 2015, 2nd District Court Judge Ernest W Jones ruled that the eight-year relationship of same-sex couple Nicki Bidlack and the late Sara Clow was a common-law marriage, ordering an amended birth certificate for her 2-year-old son that lists both Bidlack and Clow as the boy's mothers. The son is biologically Clow's and the ruling will allow Bidlack to access estate and death benefits for him.

27 December 2015

The legal rights of unmarried couples

SOUTH AFRICA: On 27 December 2015, YOU published an article setting out the legal rights of unmarried partners, registered relationships, Wills and death of a partner, registration requirements and answering important questions about civil unions.

LEGAL CLINIC: Renters - What Are Your Rights

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 27 December 2015, Barristers David Peachey and Charles Irvine discussed your rights as a renter and retaliatory evictions.

China passes first domestic violence law, gay couples excluded

CHINA: On 27 December 2015, it was reported that the parliament had passed the country's first law against domestic violence, which covers unmarried people who cohabit but does not protect gay couples.

26 December 2015

Court rules couples cannot undo divorces in New Hampshire

UNITED STATES, New Hampshire: On 02 December 2015, in a ruling likely to be applied to same-sex couples, the State Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling that the 2014 divorce granted to Terrie Harmon and her ex-husband, Thomas McCarron could not be vacated, despite their having reconciled and living as a couple once more.
Opinion: In the matter of Terrie Harman and Thomas McCarron No. 2015-0273 PDF 71.73kb 02 DEC 15

Another Japanese city to recognise same-sex relationships

JAPAN, Mie Prefecture: On 26 December 2015, it was reported that the city of Iga in Mie Prefecture announced plans to start issuing certificates recognising same-sex partnerships as being equivalent to marriage from next April onwards. The city of Takarazuka, meanwhile, has said it will start issuing papers authenticating partnership oaths by same-sex couples by summer 2016.

Court ruling affirms gay-themed film violates Criminal Code

THAILAND: On 25 December 2015, Administrative Court affirmed the 2010 ban imposed by the Culture Ministry's National Film Board, ruling that a gay-themed film, 'Insects in the Backyard', contains a three-second scene showing graphic sexual intercourse in violation of the Section 287 of the Criminal Code which bans content that “has impacts on morality and social decency”.

24 December 2015

Lesbian couple hails adoption ruling

ITALY: On 23 December 2015, the Rome court of appeals upheld a landmark August 2014 juvenile court ruling recognizing a child's legal adoption by her mother's lesbian partner. The couple, living in Rome since 2003, married and conceived their baby abroad by donor gametes. The child is now six years old.

23 December 2015

Censored: "Some People Are Gay, Get Over It"

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 22 December 2015, US District Court Judge Kevin H Sharp granted Rebecca Young's motion for a preliminary injunction preventing Richland High School principal Micah Landers from requiring that Young not wear to school either her 'Some People Are Gay, Get Over It' t-shirt or 'any other shirt referencing LGBT rights'.
Memorandum: Rebecca Young v. Giles County Board of Education, Phillip J Wright and Micah Landers No. 1:15-cv-00107 PDF 61.65kb 22 DEC 15

Oklahoma Now Has One City Where LGBT Rights are Protected

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 22 December 2015, Norman City Council unanimously approved the redefinition of the word “sex” in the city’s existing Human Rights Ordinance extending gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing and public spaces, covering both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Greece allows civil partnership for same-sex couples

GREECE: On 22 December 2015, 193 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament voted in favour of a human-rights' bill which allows civil partnership agreements between same-sex couples. The bill does not allow same-sex couples to marry or adopt children, as in other countries, and does not give them similar pension, tax and health rights and is expected to take effect early next year once it is published in the government gazette.

22 December 2015

New York announces nation's toughest transgender anti-discrimination laws

UNITED STATES, New York: On 21 December 2015, New York City's Human Rights Commission released new guidance on gender identity and gender expression protections under the City's Human Rights Law to provide explicit examples to employers, landlords, business owners, and the general public on what the City considers discrimination under the law in housing, employment and public spaces.
NYC Commission on Human Rights: Legal Enforcement Guidance on the Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression: Local Law No. 3 (2002); N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102(23) PDF 656.07kb, 21 DEC 15

Judge rules sexual orientation discrimination falls under purview of landmark Title IX law

UNITED STATES, California: On 15 December 2015, US District Judge Dean D Pregreson ruled 'that sexual orientation discrimination is not a category distinct from sex or gender discrimination. Thus, claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation are covered by Title VII and IX'. The Court found that Pepperdine University discriminated against dating same-sex basketball team members Haley Videckis and Layana White when the team coach Ryan Weisenberg and members of the coaching staff harassed and discriminated against Plaintiffs in an effort to force Plaintiffs to quit the team. The matter will proceed to trial.
Amended Order: Haley Videckis and Layana White v. Pepperdine University No. CV 15-00298 DDP (JCx) PDF 76.65kb, 15 DEC 15

21 December 2015

Gay marriage around the world

INTERNATIONAL: On 21 December 2015, the Global Post and Agence France Press published a useful summary of gay marriage, currently legal in 21 countries, 13 of them in Europe, 3 in North America, 3 in South America, 1 in Africa, 1 in the Asia-Pacific.

FDA updates blood donor deferral policy to reflect the most current scientific evidence and continue to ensure the safety of the US blood supply

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 21 December 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued final guidance outlining updated blood donor deferral recommendations to reflect the most current scientific evidence, changing its recommendation that men who have sex with men (MSM) be indefinitely deferred - a policy that has been in place for approximately 30 years - to deferral for 12 months since the last sexual contact with another man.

Same-Sex marriages become legal in Nayarit

MEXICO, Nayarit: On 17 December 2015, the local Nayarit congress has approved the modification of the Civil Code in Nayarit. Once this change has been published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación same-sex couples will be able get married in the entire state without the need for an appeal.

Same-sex defacto couples secure the right to adopt

NEW ZEALAND: On 18 December 2015, Family Court Judge Ian A McHardy ruled that failure to grant joint adoption to a same-sex de facto couple would be in breach of the Bill of Rights Act, granting all couples, same-sex or heterosexual, the right to apply for joint adoption.

20 December 2015

Slovenia rejects same-sex marriages in a referendum

SLOVENIA: On 20 December 2015, with 99% of the referendum vote counted, a voter turnout of 36.2% rejected 63.4% to 36.6% the law that would give same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children.

19 December 2015

Malawi drop charges against gay men: Anti-homosexual laws suspended, says Justice Minister

MALAWI: On 19 December 2015, Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu was reported to have said that Malawian Police had been ordered to drop charges of sodomy against 19-year-old Cuthbert Kulemeka and Kelvin Gonani (37) arrested in the capital Lilongwe. The government has suspended laws against same-sex relationships pending a decision on whether to repeal the legislation and 'imposed a moratorium' not to arrest or prosecute homosexuals.

18 December 2015

India votes to keep gay sex illegal

INDIA: On 18 December 2015, the Lok Sabha lower house of parliament, voted against a private members bill introduced by National Congress Party MP Shashi Tharoor to end the country's law that makes sex between millions of men a crime.

Arkansas Inmate Who Performed Castration Loses Court Appeal

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 17 December 2015, the United States Court of Appeaals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed 2-1 the District Court ruling that as Andrew Reid, who identifies as female, did not meet the criteria for a Gender Identity Disorder diagnosis, the denial of hormone replacement therapy and general her medical treatment did not amount to a deliberate indifference to her medical needs. The Court also held that the claims against the defendants in their individual capacities were barred by qualified immunity.
• Opinion: Andrew Reid v. Rory Griffin, et al. No. 15-1678 PDF 73.22kb 17 DEC 15

Judge Orders New Jersey 'Gay Conversion' Nonprofit to Close

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 18 December 2015, US District Judge Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso ordered Jersey City-based JONAH to cease all operations within 30 days and barred it from “engaging, whether directly or through referrals, in any therapy, counseling, treatment or activity that has the goal of changing, affecting or influencing sexual orientation, 'same sex attraction' or 'gender wholeness'” and awarded attorneys' fees and expenses to the plaintiffs' lawyers in accordance with a settlement agreement.
• Order Granting Permanent Injunctive Relief and Awarding Attorneys' Fees: Michael Ferguson, Benjamin Under, Chaim Levin, Jo Bruck, Bella Levin v. JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing L-5473-12 PDF 137.05kb 18 DEC 15

17 December 2015

New Jersey: Override on amending birth certificates fails

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 17 December 2015, the Senate suspended a vote after falling one vote short of the necessary 27 to override Governor Chris Christie's veto of the Birth Certificate Modernization Bill (S1195) that would allow transgendered people to amend their birth certificates without proof that they had undergone a sex-change operation.

Tunisia court cuts youth's sentence for homosexual activity

TUNISIA: On 17 December 2015, an appeals court reportedly reduced the sentence imposed on the student known as Marwen for homosexual activity from one year to two months and ordered to pay a fine of 300 dinars ($140). Marwen will remain free because the revised sentence is equivalent to time he had already served. His lawyer Fadoua Braham said the ruling was 'unjust and unacceptable' and would be appealed.

Expunging historic homosexual convictions

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 17 December 2015, Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin announced that the Government would introduce legislation in 2016 to enable the expunging of historic criminal records for homosexual activities which were previously illegal under the Criminal Code for sexual intercourse against the order of nature [Section 122(a)] consensual sexual intercourse between males [Section 122(c)]; and indecent practices between males [Section 123]. Applications will be processed through the Secretary of the Department of Justice.

Massachusetts Catholic school broke law by withdrawing job offer to gay man, judge rules

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 16 December 2015, Associate Justice Douglas H Wilkins in the Superior Court found that Fontbonne Academy discriminated against Matthew Barrett based on sexual orientation and gender. After Barrett accepted the position of Food Service Director he filled out a 'new employee' form, listing his husband as his emergency contact and Fontbonne then rescinded the offer of employment as he was in a same-sex marriage.
Memorandum of Decision: Matthew Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy NOCV2014-751 PDF 652.15kb, 16 DEC 15

Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Florida Prison for Gay Hungarian Sex-Slave Ring

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 15 December 2015, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Richard Hersch handed down a fairly light sentence against Andras Janos Vass, just over 140 months in state prison. Vass was found guilty human trafficking and racketeering on 09 April 2015. The two other men allegedly heading the sex ring Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki, are currently awaiting trial.
• Case Information: Court Case No. F-14-022076-B HTML (Accessed 18 DEC 15)

16 December 2015

Referendum in Armenia brings constitutional reforms

ARMENIA: On 06 December 2015, voters reportedly approved the adoption of constitutional amendments that also include a re-definition of marriage. Article 34 was amended to read as follows, 'Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry with each other'. The addition of the words 'with each other' fundamentally alters the meaning of the article, restricting marriage to persons of the opposite sex. This amendment enshrines discrimination in the constitution and in addition to marriage ban, may prevent any form of legal recognition of same-sex couples.

15 December 2015

Mexican State Banning Surrogacy for Male Gays, Foreigners

MEXICO, Tabasco: On 14 December 2015, the Tabasco State Legislature voted 21-9 passing legislation to close the door to foreign couples and male gays looking to have a child by surrogacy, restricting the option to Mexicans.

Washburn Law Firm, PLLC Launches Website Dedicated to Same-Sex Family Law

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 15 December 2015, Jack Munsey of the Greenville-based Washburn Law Firm, announced the launching of a new website dedicated to LGBT and Same Sex Family Law.

Vladimir Putin signs law allowing Russia to ignore international human rights rulings

RUSSIA: On 15 December 2015, a law adopted by the parliament on 09 December 2015 and signed by Vladimir Putin - allowing the Constitutional Court of Russia to decide whether or not to comply with judgements made by international human rights courts - was published by the government. The law enables Russia's high court to overthrow decisions made by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.

14 December 2015

Tunisia: Sentencing of six men for same-sex relations highlights state's entrenched homophobia

TUNISIA: On 10 December 2015, the Court of First Instance in the city of Kairouan reportedly sentenced six Tunisian men under Article 230 of the Tunisian Penal Code which criminalizes 'sodomy and lesbianism', and carries a maximum prison term of three years. One of the men was additionally sentenced to six months in prison for ‘indecency’ after police found a pornographic video on his computer. The court is believed to have received evidence of involuntary anal examination.

Prenuptial Agreement Considerations for Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 14 December 2015, Attorney Jeffrey D Koelzer discusses situations in which same-sex couples might benefit from a prenuptial agreement.

New Ontario bill aims to change legal rights of new LGBT parents

CANADA, Ontario: On 10 December 2015, Bill 137: Cy and Ruby's Act passed the second reading stage and was referred to the Standing Committee. The Bill, if passed into law, will ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents have legal rights to their own child, right from birth.
• Bill 137: Cy and Ruby’s Act PDF 716.79kb, 04 NOV 15

Supreme Court blocks decision revoking parental custody from lesbian

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 14 December 2015, the US Supreme Court temporarily stayed the Alabama Supreme Court decision that refused to recognize an adoption by V.L. the non-biological lesbian mother of her three children granted by a Georgia court in 2007 and consented to by the birth mother E.L. at the time, pending further hearing.
• Order in Pending Case: V.L. V. E.L., Smith, Tobie J. V. E.L., et al No. 15-648 PDF 27.00kb 14 DEC 15

13 December 2015

Bethel College granted waiver from LGBT law

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 13 December 2015, it was reported that in July the US Federal Government granted Bethel College Title IX exemption status that will allow the school to ban students or employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pregnant out of wedlock or in same-sex marriages, however President Gregg Chenoweth said that the waiver doesn't mean people who are attracted to the same sex are prohibited from attending or graduating from the Christian school in Mishawaka, however they must be celibate.

Judge quashes lesbian asylum seeker ruling

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 27 November 2015, Ms. Justice Stewart in the High Court concluded that the Refugee Appeals Tribunal did not take into account all relevant documents, relying heavily on interview in which O.P.E. was found to have an ignorant and ill-informed attitude to the question of what constitutes sexual orientation [that] seriously undermines the credibility of her claim. The Court granted an order of certiorari remitting the matter to the tribunal for reconsideration by a separate tribunal member.
• Judgment: O.P.E. (Nigeria) and Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2015] IEHC 748, 27 NOV 15

12 December 2015

Ecuador approves New Law that guarantees Gender ID

ECUADOR: On 12 December 2015, it was reported that on 10 December 2015, the National Assembly passed the Organic Law of the National Identity and Civil Data Management Service with 77 votes, 2 against, one blank vote and 20 abstentions. Among other advances, the law will enable persons of legal age - 18 years - to change their sex in their identity documents.

11 December 2015

District of Columbia Council approves DP 'termination' bill

UNITED STATES, District of Columbia: On 01 December 2015, the District of Columbia City Council voted unanimously giving final approval to the 'Domestic Partnership Termination Recognition Amendment Act of 2015', amending the city's existing domestic partnership law to allow couples that had domestic partnerships legally registered in another jurisdiction to terminate those partnerships by judicial decree in the District.

Savannah city council passes LGBT workplace discrimination law

UNITED STATES, Georgia: On 10 December 2015, the Savannah city council unanimously approved an ordinance to establish non-discrimination policies in the areas of city employment, permitting and licensing on grounds that include sex, sexual orientation, gender identity.

Ohio publicizes judge's gay marriage ruling with web posting

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 10 December 2015, the State filed a notice attesting to having complied with the 02 November 2015 same-sex marriage order of US District Judge Timothy S Black to publish the Court's Final Judgment and Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction on the Ohio Department of Health website.
Final Judgment and Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction: James Obergefell, et al., v. Richard Hodges, et al. 1:13-cv-501 PDF 02 NOV 15

Victoria becomes fourth Australian state to recognize overseas gay marriages

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 10 December 2015, the Parliament passed the Relationships Amendment Bill 2015 that will automatically recognize same-sex couples who have married overseas as being in a registered relationship in Victoria. The law will come into force on a day to be proclaimed or on 01 October 2016.

10 December 2015

US Court Says Claim for Pre-Windsor Benefits Time-Barred

UNITED STATES, District of Columbia: On 24 November 2015, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the suit of Edward G Horvath who sought unsuccessfully to add his husband Richard Neidich to his Government Accountability Office employer-sponsored health insurance plan in 2004 until after the Windsor DOMA decision. The GAO refused to provide backpay or other remedies with respect to its prior refusal to add Horvath's husband to his health insurance coverage, the Court concluding that a claim under Federal Employee Health Benefits Act and discrimination claims under Title VII fail because Plaintiff has failed to timely exhaust his administrative remedies.
• Memorandum Opinion: Edward G Horvath v. Gene Dodaro, et al. No. 15-210 (CKK) PDF 90.04kb 24 NOV 15

British Columbia Supreme Court rules in favour of Trinity Western University's same-sex relationship policy

CANADA, British Columbia: On 10 December 2015, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that Trinity Western University may now open a law school and require all students to sign a 'Community Covenant' that dictates they must abstain from engaging in same-sex relationships.
Reasons for Judgment: Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of British Columbia 2015 BDSC 2326 PDF 539.30kb 10 DEC 15

Arkansas Supreme Court halts birth certificates for same-sex partners

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 10 December 2015, the Arkansas Supreme Court temporarily stayed the Pulaski County Circuit Court order of Judge Tim Fox that allowed same-sex parents throughout the state to be listed as parents on the birth certificates of their children, letting stand the certificates already obtained by three lesbian couples.
• Petition for Emergency Stay Granted in Part and Denied in Part: Motion for Expansion of Page Limit Granted: Nathaniel Smith, et al. v. Marisa N Pavan and Terrah D Pavan, et al. No. CV-15-988 PDF 1.51MB, 10 DEC 15

Same-sex marriage gets Guernsey States approval

GUERNSEY: On 10 December 2015, it was reported that the government policy council had voted 37-7 for the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation at an as yet undetermined date with a coming into effect not before 2017.

Court recognizes gay mum adoption

ITALY, Milan: On 10 December 2015, a Milan appeals court ruled valid a lesbian woman's adoption in Spain of her ex-wife's daughter, and ordered the adoption transcribed in Italy, one of the first cases in Italy recognising so-called stepchild adoption, or adoption by one partner in a same-sex couple of the other's biological child.

09 December 2015

Puerto Rico for first time allows same-sex couple to adopt

PUERTO RICO: On 09 December 2015, Judge Ladi Buono De Jesús in the Court of San Juan was reported to have ruled that Ángeles Judith Acosta Rodríguez, a woman whose longtime partner Carmen Milagros Vélez Vega gave birth to Juliana María Acosta Vélez through artificial insemination, be granted an adoption order.

Cincinnati Approves 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Ban

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 09 December 2015, Cincinnati Council voted 7-2 to pass a new Chapter 769, “Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Change Efforts”, of Title VII, “General Regulations”, of the Cincinnati Municipal Code, which prohibits therapy designed to change sexual orientation or gender identity for minors, and imposes a $200-a-day fine on violators.

Same-sex adoption laws pass Victorian Parliament after Government accepts religious exemptions

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 09 December 2015, the Lower House of Assembly reportedly passed the Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2015 as amended by the Upper House Legislative Council that deleted Clause 17 thus giving Victorian religious agencies the right to refuse adoption to same-sex couples.

This Man Is Challenging Jamaica's Ban On HomosexualityJAMAICA: On 27 November 2015 Maurice Tomlinson reportedly filed a law suit in the Supreme Court seeking to have the buggery law nullified in all cases of adult consensual sex, which is currently punishable by up to 10 years in prison and hard labor, as well as requiring those convicted to register as sex offenders. The first procedural hearing of the case for 23 February 2016.

08 December 2015

Gender identity, expression to be protected in Alberta Human Rights Code

CANADA, Alberta: On 07 December 2015, Bill 7 amending the Human Rights Act 2015 unanimously passed the Legislative Assembly adding gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination. The Bill has yet to receive Royal Assent.

07 December 2015

Czech court recognizes gay adoption

CZECH REPUBLIC: On 04 December 2015, the court in Prostějov, south Moravia was reported to have ruled that the adoption of 10-year-old twins by a Czech-French gay couple living in the US be recognized. A new law on international private law came into force on 05 November under which Czech courts may recognize foreign rulings on adoption.

Same-sex partners to get rights in February

BERMUDA: On 07 December 2015, Chief Justice Ian R C Kawaley in the Supreme Court found that only administrative changes were required in the application of offending sections of the immigration legislation - to the extent that they authorise the minister or deny the permanent same-sex partners of persons who possess Bermuda status residential and employment rights - suspending his 27 November 2015 declaration until 29 February 2016.

06 December 2015

Christian college wins right to ban gays, unwed mothers, and women who've had an abortion

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 04 December 2015, it was reported that the US Federal Government had granted Carson-Newman University a Title IX exemption status that will allow the school to ban gay students, unwed mothers, women who've had an abortion ­ and those who may even be pregnant. It is the 30th American educational institution to be filed under the Title IX exemption.

Bernard Gaynor wins landmark case against defence force

AUSTRALIA, National: On 04 December 2015, Justice Buchanan in the Federal Court of Australia at Sydney set aside the 10 December 2013 decision of the Chief of the Defence Force to terminate the commission of Army Reserve Major Bernard Gaynor for alleged homophobic comments on social media and the Internet regarding Defence Force personnel marching in Mardi Gras.
Judgment: Bernard Gaynor v. Chief of the Defence Force (No 3) [2015] FCA 1370 Word 231.2kb, 04 DEC 15

05 December 2015

LGBT wiki is 'necessary' for the preservation of our history

UNITED KINGDOM: On 05 December 2015, the launch of a new 'Wikipedia-style' website was reported. The LGBT Archive (formerly The LGBT History Project) is an archive of the knowledge and memories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people living in the UK and includes categories for LGBT legislation and laws..

04 December 2015

Arkansas Begins Listing Some Same-Sex Parents On Birth Certificates

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 04 December 2015, it was reported that Jennifer Gardner-Glaze and her wife, Tracee succeeded in obtaining an amended birth certificate for their 4-month-old son, despite officials initially telling them they were unable to do because they were not parties to the lawsuit that resulted in Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox striking down part of a state law that barred same-sex couples from being listed on their children's birth certificates.

Houston Repeals Law Allowing Transgender Bathroom Choice

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 04 December 2015, it was reported that the City of Houston had voted 61% to 39% to repeal a new city ordinance outlawing discrimination based on religion, sexual orientation and race was passed last April.

Equality law protections extended to religious-run schools and hospitals

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 04 December 2015, the Oireachtas approved the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill that scraps Section 37(1) of the Employment Equality Act, which exempts the promotion of 'certain religious values' from the legal definition of discrimination, extending equality law protections for LGBT teachers to schools and institutions run by the Catholic Church. The bill is due to be signed into law shortly.

Same-sex marriage: Belfast judge to deliver ruling after Christmas

UNITED KINGDOM, Northern Ireland: On 04 December 2015. judgment in the Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kanem same-sex marriage case challenging the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013, was reserved until after Christmas.

03 December 2015

Boss Allegedly Grabbed Man's Butt, Drew Penises on Paychecks, Must Pay $2.2M

UNITED STATES, New York: On 03 December 2015, it was reported that subject to the judge's approval, a jury in New York City has awarded Raymond Rosas, a former restaurant supply truck driver, $2.2 million after he accused his former bosses Barry Rosenberg and Mark Balter at Balter Sales Co. of extreme sexual and racial harassment.

Israeli Military Lifts Ban on HIV-Positive Recruits

ISRAEL: On 03 December 2015, it was reported that the Israeli military announced earlier in the week that it had scrapped a ban on HIV-positive recruits and will soon begin enlisting HIV-positive soldiers to non-combat roles.

Illinois School Will Accommodate Trans Student, Settling Landmark Case

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 03 December 2015, the Township High School District 211 board in Palatine agreed to provide a transgender girl access to the girls’ locker room, resolving a complaint the student had brought against it with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, winning a landmark ruling from the department.

Queensland, Australia state parliament votes 64 to 22 to reinstate gay civil unions

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 03 December 2015, the unicameral Queensland Parliament voted 64-22 to restore the state's civil unions scheme which not only creates a legal relationship but allows for an official ceremony like a marriage. 21 members crossed the floor to vote with the government's MPs. The law will come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

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