GayLawNews™

May 2015

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31 May 2015

Illinois passes legislature for bill banning conversion therapy

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 29 May 2015, the Senate passed 34-19 Bill HB217 (Youth Mental Health Protection Act) to ban any programs which attempt to change the sexual orientation of people under eighteen in Illinois. The House voted 68-43 for the bill earlier this month. The bill now heads to the governer, Bruce Raune.
HB217: Youth Mental Health Protection Act PDF 106.58kb, 04 MAY 15

29 May 2015

Houston Law Review Explores Same-Sex Marriage In Latest Issue

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 29 May 2014, the publication of an expanded version of the presentation address to The Nineteenth Annual Frankel Lecture in October 2014 by William Eskridge Jr., the John A Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale, entitled the “Original Meaning and Marriage Equality” in favor of marriage equality, was reported.
• Address: Original Meaning and Marriage Equality 52 Hous. L. Rev. 1067 (2015) PDF 346.85kb 14 MAR 15

Lesbian couple in Florida granted divorce

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 29 May 2015, the District Court of Appeal of Florida Second District reversed the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County opinion of Judge Laurel M Lee, referring to the reasons given in Brandon-Thomas v. Brandon-Thomas on 24 April 2015 - in effect re-stating that same-sex couple married outside the state have the right to get divorced - and remanded the case to the Circuit Court.
• Opinion: Mariama Monique Changamire Shaw v. Kieba Lynn Shaw No. 2D14-2384 PDF 43.07kb, 29 MAY 15

Gay sex will be officially legal in Mozambique from next month

MOZAMBIQUE: On 29 May 2015, it was reported that with effect from 29 June, the revised Penal Code will become law - removing the previous reference to engaging in 'vices against nature' that was used to discriminate against and prosecute LGBTI people.

28 May 2015

19A finally repealed in Victoria

AUSTRALIA, Victoria: On 27 May 2015, the upper house Legislative Council passed the 'Crimes Amendment (Repeal of Section 19A) Bill 2015' repealing section 19A of the Crimes Act that previously criminalised the transmission of HIV in Victoria. The Bill was assented to on 02 June and took effect on 03 June. The Bill passed the lower house Legislative Assembly on 07 May. 'Intentional' transmission remains unlawful.
• Act 17/2015: Crimes Amendment (Repeal of Section 19A) Bill 2015 PDF 93.65kb, 29 MAY 15

Oneida Tribe legalizing same-sex marriage

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 27 May 2015, the Oneida Business Committee voted unanimously to recognize marriages between members of the same sex, amending Oneida law (Marriage Law Amendments) to define marriage as between “spouses” in place of “husband and wife”, effective 10 June.

Leesburg passes LGBT anti-discrimination law

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 26 May 2015, the City Commission of the City of Leesburg passed 3-2 an anti-discrimination ordinance making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in public accommodations and workplaces and the provision of services unlawful.
• Ordinance: Leesburg Discrimination Policy PDF 114.90kb, 22 MAY 15

27 May 2015

Kazakhstan Shuts Down Gay Propaganda Law

KAZAKHSTAN: On 26 May 2015, the Constitutional Court rejected a bill, (ostensibly aimed at “the protection of children from information causing damage to their health and development”), that would have banned “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” on grounds that it included vague language.

Greenland legalizes gay marriage

GREENLAND: On 26 May 2015, parliament voted unanimously to adopt Danish laws legalizing gay marriage and gay adoption with effect from 01 October.

24 May 2015

Amendment to hate crimes law clears General Assembly

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 20 May 2015, Bill HB 3930 passed the Senate 55-0 (4 no votes) having previously passed the House 112-9 (3 no votes) on 16 April. The Bill amends the Criminal Code of 2012 and the Unified Code of Corrections. Hate crime includes damage or injury to persons or property because of actual or perceived gender or sexual orientation of another person or group. “Sexual orientation” now includes gender identity by reference to the Human Rights Act. Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the Bill into law.

23 May 2015

Scandal in Argentina as Judges Say a Six-Year Old's Alleged Homosexuality Invited Sexual Abuse

ARGENTINA: On 23 May 2015, it was reported that a June 2014 decision of Judges Horacio Piombo and Ramón Sal Llargués in the Chamber of Criminal Cassation, Buenos Aires reduced the sentence of Mario Tolosa from 6 years to 38 months for sexually assaulting a six-year-old on the basis that the case had mitigating factors, namely that the victim “displayed a homosexual orientation and was accustomed to being sexually abused”.
• Ruling (in Spanish): TCPBA. Sala I. Tolosa Mario. 2014 No. 53810, JUN 14
• Ruling (Google translation): TCPBA. Sala I. Tolosa Mario. 2014 No. 53810 PDF 128.24kb, JUN 14

Morocco: Court sentences three homosexuals to prison

MOROCCO: On 23 May 2015, a court in Taourirt eastern Morocco was reported to have sentenced three men to three years in prison each for practicing homosexuality. Authorities in Taourirt had arrested two of the men who were caught in the act having gay sex inside a mechanic workshop and a third man said to be a mediator between the two men was also arrested.

Ireland becomes first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 23 May 2015, of 1,935,907 voters (a 60.5% turnout), 1,201,607 people (62%) voted in favour of amending the constitution to allow same-sex marriage with 734,300 (38%) against, giving a majority of 467,307.

22 May 2015

How to destroy every single argument against same-sex marriage

INTERNATIONAL: On 22 May 2015, GayStarNews published a concise, 14-point article refuting the popular arguments against making same-sex marriage lawful.

Vietnam bans 'poisonous' gay romance novels

VIETNAM: On 22 May 2015, the ministry of culture was reported to have sent a letter to publishers ordering them to stop printing 'clichéd, useless, obscene and offensive' romance novels, most of which are translations from Chinese.

21 May 2015

Swiss supreme court rules boy can't have 2 fathers

SWITZERLAND: On 21 May 2015, the Federal Supreme Court was reported to have ruled that a child born to a surrogate mother in the United States can't have two fathers, finding that only the 4-year-old boy's biological father can be legally registered on his birth certificate.

Alabama judge orders pro-marriage equality decision effective statewide, stays effect until SCOTUS ruling

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 21 May 2015, Judge Callie V S Granada in the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama ordered that her ruling invalidating the state's marriage equality ban as unconstitutional be effective statewide, but in a second order, stayed her decision until final determination of the larger marriage equality issue currently pending before the US Supreme Court."
• Class Action Order: James N Strawser, et al., v. Luther Strange, et al. No. 1:14-cv-004240CG-C PDF 155.61kb, 21 MAY 15
• Preliminary Injunction Order: James N Strawser, et al., v. Luther Strange, et al. No. 1:14-cv-004240CG-C PDF 139.64kb, 21 MAY 15

20 May 2015

Oregon's bisexual governor bans 'gay conversion therapy'

UNITED STATES, On 18 May 2015, Governor Kate Brown signed Bill HB2307 into law banning 'gay conversion therapy'. On 07 May the state Senate passed the Bill by a vote of 21-8 (1 non-voting).

19 May 2015

Israel Defense Forces change service regulations to accommodate same-sex parents

ISRAEL: On 19 May 2015, it was reported that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had updated its regulations to apply to any couple recognized as being in a relationship by the Israeli National Insurance Institute, to accommodate the family needs of reservists who are in same-sex relationships in the same way they do those in opposite-sex relationships, including applications to postpone their compulsory service if both members of the couple are asked to deploy militarily at the same time.

Belfast bakery discriminated by refusing gay cake order, court rules

UNITED KINGDOM, Northern Ireland: On 19 May 2015, Presiding District Judge Brownlie in the County Court in Northern Ireland ruled that Ashers Baking Co Ltd and its proprietors discriminated against Garith Lee contrary to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) by refusing to deliver a cake ordered and paid for, objecting to the required 'Bert and Ernie' 'Support Gay Marriage' graphic. Damages to be assessed.
• Judgment: Garith Lee v. Ashers Baking Co Ltd and Colin McArthur and Karen McArthur 2015 NICty 2 PDF 514.63kb 19 MAY 15

17 May 2015

France's largest Protestant denomination votes to bless same-sex marriages

FRANCE: On 17 May 2015, the United Protestant Church of France synod delegates were reported to have voted 94-3 in favour of vicars being allowed to bless same-sex marriages but dissenters will not be forced to do so against their will. In France only marriages performed by the state have any legal weight so a church wedding is merely a religious endorsement of a marriage.

16 May 2015

High court upholds Kasonkomona's acquittal

ZAMBIA: On 24 April 2015, Judge Judy Mulongoti in the High Court in Lusaka upheld the decision of Magistrate Ng'ambi and acquitted Paul Kasonkomona saying he was exercising his freedom of expression. On 07 April 2013, Kasonkomona was arrested for idle and disorderly conduct and charged with being in a public place and soliciting for immoral purposes, after he appeared on Muvi TV during which he called for the protection of the rights of people practicing homosexuality. On 25 February 2014, Magistrate Ng'ambi acquitted Kasonkomona, finding that the prosecution had failed to establish the case beyond reasonable doubt .

Kaohsiung allows same-sex couples to designate partners in city records

TAIWAN: On 16 April 2015, Tseng Tzu-wen, head of Kaohsiung city government's Bureau of Civil Affairs was reported to have said that the city will allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens whose household registration is in Kaohsiung to designate their partner in city records, starting 20 May. The information recorded will only be used by the city government internally as a reference, and will not be legally binding. No certificates regarding the designation of partners will be issued.

Same-sex marriage referendum: Legal loopholes may cast long shadow

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 16 April 2015, Barrister Benedict Ó Floinn wrote that without amendment, the Civil Registration Act (the Act), which currently regulates marriage ceremonies, will be out of kilter if the amendment of Article 41 of the Constitutional is approved by voters in the referendum on 22 May and the proposed amendment of the Act will then be out of kilter with an amended Constitution.

15 May 2015

Oregon denies lesbian parental rights to ex-lover's child

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 13 May 2015, Judge Dan Brunch in the Court of Appeals ruled that artificial insemination does not automatically make lesbian registered same-sex partner Lorrena Madrone a parent just because her partner Karah Gretchen Madrone gives birth to the child R and approves it, concluding that lawful parentage 'applies to unmarried same-sex couples who have a child through artificial insemination if the partner of the biological parent consented to the insemination 'and' the couple would have chosen to marry had that choice been available to them'.
Opinion: : In the Matter of the Registered Domestic Partnership of Karah Gretchen Madrone and Lorrena Thompson Madrone 271 Or App 116 [2015] PDF 119.06kb, 13 MAY 15

14 May 2015

Nevada Legislature passes LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying protections for students

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 13 May 2015, the Assembly members voted 36-6 to approve SB 504. The measure, which includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, now heads to Governor Sandoval's desk for final approval.

Bill introduced to scrap the "gay panic" defence in South Australia

AUSTRALIA, South Australia: On 13 May 2015, the 'Criminal Law Consolidation (Provocation) Amendment Bill 2015' was introduced in the upper house Legislative Council to abolish the “gay panic” defence in the state. A similar bill was rejected in 2013.
• Bill: Criminal Law Consolidation (Provocation) Amendment Bill 2015 Legislative Council No. 31 PDF 31.96kb, 14 MAY 15

17 Years After Matthew Shepard's Murder, Laramie Passes LGBT Protections

UNITED STATES, Wyoming: On 13 May 2015, Laramie City Council passed 7-2 Original Ordinance No. 1914 Illegal Discrimination that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and sets up a process for filing discrimination complaints, which the city will then investigate. The ordinance will go into effect by the end of this month.
• City of Laramie Agenda Special Meeting and Ordinance: Original Ordinance No. 1914 Illegal Discrimination PDF 344.56kb, 12 MAY 15

13 May 2015

Gay rights supporters score two victories in conservative Arkansas

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 12 May 2015, Pulaski County Quorum Court voted 9-3 to give initial approval to an ordinance (15-I-48) barring discrimination in hiring based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure faces a final vote on 26 May. In Eureka Springs more than 70 percent of voters backed an anti-discrimination ordinance (2223) previously adopted by the town council.

11 May 2015

Lithuanian parliament committee: 'constitution no barrier to gay civil partnerships'

LITHUANIA: On 06 May, the Committee on Legal Affairs of Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) found that the introduction of a same-sex civil partnerships bill would not breach the country's constitution.

Utah anti-discrimination law goes into effect

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 12 May 2015, SB 296 protecting rights for gays and lesbians in housing and employment and SB 297 simultaneously preserving religious liberty by allowing businesses or groups to “opt out” of providing select services if it goes against their religious faith, went into effect.

09 May 2015

Divorce or dissolution: what happens to your property if your relationship ends?

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 09 April 2015, this sponsored article discusses the disposition of the property of partners in the breakup of their marriage or civil partnership and protection strategies.

08 May 2015

Six Same-Sex Idaho Couples Offered Do-Over Marriage Licenses

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 06 April 2015, six same-sex couples who married in early October 2014, before state officials say a federal court made such unions legal, were reportedly being given a unique state-approved opportunity for a do-over, with a unique application intended to allow them to get a new license without denying they're already married. The application has the unusual option of selecting already married.

07 May 2015

Supreme Judicial Court: Sperm donors do not have to give permission for gay adoptions

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 07 May 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court concluded 7-0 that State law did not require the lawful (same-sex) parents of a child to give notice of the petition for adoption to a known sperm donor and remanded the case to the Probate and Family Court for further proceedings consistent with the opinion.
Opinion: : Adoption of a Minor No. SJC-11797 PDF 06 MAY 15

Cyprus government approves gay civil unions

CYPRUS: On 06 April 2015, the Cabinet reportedly approved a civil partnership bill that would allow gay couples to register their relationships and grant them all marriage rights except joint adoption. The Bill will now be introduced to the Parliament.

German Catholic Church relaxes rules for divorced and gay employees

GERMANY: On 27 April 2015, the Catholic bishops meeting in Wurzburg were reported to have approved by more than a two-thirds majority to relax guidelines for employees of the church, meaning that those who divorce or remarry or are living with a same-sex partner will no longer automatically risk being fired in dioceses that choose to adopt the guidelines.

06 May 2015

Iran bans 'homosexual' hairstyles (and ones which make you worship Satan)

IRAN: On 06 May 2015, Iran's religious authorities were reported to determined that spiky and feathered haircuts encourage homosexuality and Satanism. Ponytails and mullets have been banned previously and tattoos, solarium treatments and plucking eyebrows are also forbidden.

Costa Rican court upholds gay rights in professional associations

COSTA RICA: On 30 April 2015, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) recognized that it was illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and upheld a similar 2014 decision, ruling that the Costa Rican Doctors and Surgeons Association discriminated against gay and lesbian members by refusing to let them sponsor their same-sex partners for membership at the association's recreational facilities.

Gay couple wins High Court battle over baby girl

UNITED KINGDOM, England: On 30 April 2015, the judgment of Ms Justice Russell was published, ruling that it was in the best interests of the child M should live with same-sex couple, biological father H and his partner B as parents and not S, the surrogate mother who is to have supervised contact with M for as long as necessary. There was a dispute as to what was actually agreed between the parties.
Judgment: : H v S (Surrogacy Agreement) [2015] EWFC 36, 30 APR 15

Hawaii Passes Bill Allowing Transgender People To Change Birth Certificate

UNITED STATES, Hawaii: On 05 May 2015, the Senate and House passed Bil HB631 removing the current requirement to undergo gender reassignment surgery and making it a lot easier for transgender people to change their gender on their birth certificates. On 06 May, the Bill was sent to Governor David Ige.

05 May 2015

Same sex couples will now be able to marry at British Consulates in 24 countries

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 03 June 2015, the 'Consular Marriage and Marriages under Foreign Law Order 2014' comes into force enabling same sex marriages to take place at British Consulates 24 countries where it is not possible for British nationals to have such a marriage under local law and where the local authorities have given permission for the missions to conduct consular marriages of same sex couples.

04 May 2015

Supreme Court declines to hear two LGBT rights cases

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts, New Jersey: On 04 May 2015, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of transgender inmate Michelle Kosilek against the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling denying her taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery. On 04 May 2015, the US Supreme Court Court denied a review of King v. Christie challenging New Jersey's ban on so-called LGBT “conversion therapy” for minors. The law banning the therapy was upheld by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and remains the law in the State.
Order List: 575 U.S.: Orders in Pending Cases PDF 106.58kb, 04 MAY 15

02 May 2015

Tasmanian anti-discrimination commissioner wants criminal records for consensual gay sex erased

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 02 May 2015, Anti-discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks released her final report on treatment of historic criminal records for consensual homosexual sexual activity and related conduct, recommending a dedicated scheme be established to allow records relating to homosexual activities or activities arising because of a person's sexual orientation or gender identity to be expunged.
• Report: "Treatment of convictions for consensual sexual activity between adult males" PDF 625.98kb, APR 15

01 May 2015

Australia: Tasmania passes 'religious freedom' bill allowing schools to refuse gay students

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 30 April 2015, the Tasmanian lower House of Assembly passed an amendment to the Anti-Discrimination Act that would allow religious schools in the state to refuse LGBTI students on grounds of their beliefs. The Anti-discrimination Amendment Bill 2015 (8 of 2015) will debated in the upper house Legislative Council as early as at the end of this month.
Bill: Anti-discrimination Amendment Bill 2015 No. 8 of 2015

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