GayLawNews™

April 2016

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30 April 2016

Italian women win gay adoption battle

ITALY, Rome: On 30 April 2016, it was reported that Rome juvenile court ruled that Marilena Grassadonia, president of the Rainbow Families association, could adopt her wife's twin boys. In turn, her partner adopted Grossadonia's son. All three were conceived by artificial insemination.

29 April 2016

Transgender Civil Servants in Brazil Can Use Chosen Name

BRAZIL: On 28 April 2016, embattled President Dilma Rousseff signed a decree enabling transgender and transsexual civil servants to use their chosen names while on the job. The move is likely to irritate conservative politicians.
Judge Rules Gay Sex Stings Carried Out by Long Beach Police Are Discriminatory

UNITED STATES, California: On 29 April 2016, Superior Court Judge Halim Dhanidina invalidated the arrest of Rory Moroney, 50, on charges of lewd conduct and indecent exposure ruling that gay sex stings carried out by Long Beach police vice unit are discriminatory and ''indicative of animus toward homosexuals''.
Faroe Islands says yes to same-sex marriage

FAROE ISLANDS: On 29 April 2016, politicians in the self-governing archipelago that is part of Denmark, voted 19-14 in favour of same-sex marriage. Marrying in churches was left out of the law for fear the Christian parties would vote against it.
Mayor signs youth suicide prevention bill

UNITED STATES, District of Columbia: On 27 April 2016, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the ''Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Act of 2015'' bill approved by the City Council requiring the city's public schools to adopt suicide prevention polices that specifically address the needs of LGBT youth. The Act is effective following approval by the Mayor, a 30-day period of congressional review and publication in the DC Register.
• Bill: Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Act of 2015 PDF 552.78kb, 29 SEP 15
Republican-Controlled Senate Passes Bill That Helps Gay Couples

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 29 April 2016, the Republican controlled Senate voted unanimously (34-0, 1 absentee) to approve bill SB 16-150 that allows same-sex couples who have entered into a civil union to subsequently enter into a legally recognized marriage with each other. The effect of marrying in that circumstance is to merge the civil union into a marriage by operation of law, making a separate dissolution of a civil union unnecessary. The Bill also address the dissolution of such a marriage and on 02 May was introduced to the House.
• Bill: Senate Bill 16-150 PDF 127.36kb 29 APR 16

28 April 2016

Forced oral sex where victim has passed out drunk is ruled not illegal by Oklahoma court

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 24 April 2016, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled 5-0 that unconsciousness and intoxication are not part of the definition in the state's law to establish forcible sodomy (rape involving the mouth or anus of the victim), upholding the dismissal of charges against R.Z.M. in the Tulsa County District Court, a 17-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl after driving her home following a session of drinking at a park in Tulsa.
• Summary Opinion: State of Oklahoma v. R.Z.M. No. JS 2015-1076 PDF 102.29kb 24 MAR 16
Jordan bans Lebanese rock band fronted by gay singer

JORDAN: On 28 April 2016, it was reported that Jordan had banned a concert by Mashrou' Leila, a Lebanese rock band in which Hamed Sinn is an openly gay singer. The band has been accused of promoting homosexuality and inciting political revolts.

26 April 2016

Hawaii Bill Bans Discrimination Against Transgender Patients

UNITED STATES, Hawaii: On 26 April 2016, the legislature passed bill HB2084 HD2 SD1 prohibiting all insurers in the State, including health insurers, mutual benefit societies, health maintenance organizations, and health benefits plans under chapter 87A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, from discriminating with respect to participation and coverage under a policy, contract, plan, or agreement against any person on the basis of a person's actual gender identity or perceived gender identity. The Bill has been transmitted to the Governor for signing into law. The Act takes effect upon its approval subject to certain sections come into effect on or or after 01 January 2017.
Egyptian court sentences 11 men to prison for homosexual behavior

EGYPT: On 26 April 2016, it was reported that a court in Egypt had sentenced a group of 11 men convicted of homosexuality to prison for periods ranging from three to 12 years. The men were officially charged with ''debauchery and incitement to debauchery'', the legal terms used by Egyptian jurisprudence to describe homosexual behavior."
Gay marriage in Italy, one step forwards two steps back

ITALY, Rome: On 26 April 2016, it was reported that the Court of Rome rejected the appeal of two women who were married in Portugal against the refusal of the city's civic office to transcribe their union, on the grounds that ''the couple getting married must be of different genders, as currently required by Italian law for the same legal identity reasons as for the act of marriage''.
Gay couple win custody battle against Thai surrogate mother

THAILAND: On 26 April 2016, the Bangkok Juvenile and Family Court ruled that the legal guardian of the child Carmen Lake is Gordon Lake, her biological father from the US. Patidta Kusolsang, the Thai surrogate mother, carried an implaneted donor egg fertilized by Mr Lake and wanted to keep the child after she found out the American and his Spanish partner Manuel Santos were gay. Subject to there being no appeal, Lake and his partner Manuel Santos will be able to leave Thailand and return to Spain, where they live.

25 April 2016

Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Anti-Gay Bakerís Claim Of Religious Freedom

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 25 April 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court denied en banc the petitition for certiorari to hear an appeal of the judgment against Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc., and Jack C Phillips, brought by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Charlie Craig and David Milluns following the refusal of Phillips to sell a wedding cake to same-sex couple Craig and Mullins.
• Case Announcements: Petition for Write of Certiorari Denied: Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc and Jack C Phillips v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Charlie Craig and David Mullins 10 No. 14CA1351 at page 8, 25 APR 16

20 April 2016

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Protections For Transgender People In Landmark Ruling

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 19 April 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the Department of Education's interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the law, banning sex discrimination and requiring school districts to allow transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
• Opinion: G.G. by his next friend and mother, Deidre Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board No. 15-2056 PDF 204.87kb 19 APR 15

16 April 2016

Nebraska Supreme Court upholds hate crime law in Old Market assault case

UNITED STATES, Nebraska: On 15 April 2016, the State Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Gregory Duncan who punched Ryan Langenegger in the face while he was standing up for two friends who are gay. Duncan was convicted of a hate crime even though witnesses testified that the homosexual slurs heard prior to the assault were uttered not by Duncan, but by his friends. The Court found that it could be inferred from the evidence that Duncan's motivation was his belief that Langenegger was associated with homosexual people.
• Opinion: State v. Duncan No. S-15-668 PDF 154.26kb 15 APR 16

15 April 2016

Inter-American Court of Human Rights holds Colombia accountable for violating right to equality and non-discrimination

COLOMBIA: On 26 February 2016, Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that Colombia violated the right to equality and non-discrimination of a gay man, who was denied a survivor pension after his partner had died, saying ''that no provision can diminish or limit a personís rights on the basis of their sexual orientation''. It is the very first time the court has ruled on issues related to same-sex couples.
Sentenza (in Spanish): Case of Duque v. Colombia PDF 784.78kb 26 FEB 16
Legal Loophole Leaves Same-Sex Couples Stuck In Civil Unions

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 15 April 2016, it was reported that the State Supreme Court would hear the Freyda Nayman case. Naymen and her long since separated partner entered into a Vermont civil union in 2002 however, the Pennsylvania family court would not dissolve the union on jurisdictional grounds because at the time the state did not recognize civil unions.

14 April 2016

Defense Department Adds South Korea To List of Duty Stations Approved for Same-Sex Military Spouses

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 14 April 2016, it was reported that the Republic of Korea (South Korea) had been added to the list of 53 duty station assignments outside of the United States approved for same-sex military spouses.
Brooklyn Appeals Court Affirms Lesbian Co-Parent's Claim

UNITED STATES, New York: On 06 April 2016, Justice Sheri S Roman in the Second Department of the New York Appellate Division affirmed the March 2015 decision of Suffolk County Family Court Judge Deborah Poulos recognizing the parental status of Kelly Steagall, a lesbian co-parent seeking visitation with two children conceived through donor insemination while she was a registered partner and later married to their birth mother, Farah Martin.
• Opinion and Order: In the Matter of Kelly S. v. Farah M D47796 PDF 76.98kb 06 APR 16
Kentucky Governor Signs Off On Single Marriage License Form

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 13 April 2016, Governor Matt Bevin signed into law bill SB216 creating one marriage license form for gay and straight couples. Upon the measure becoming law ''this summer'', marriage license applicants would have the option of checking ''bride'', ''groom'' or ''spouse'' beside their name.

13 April 2016

Louisiana governor signs order protecting LGBT rights

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 12 April 2016, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11 providing employment protections for state employees and employees of state contractors on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age and prohibiting discrimination in services provided by state agencies whilst including an exemption for churches and religious organizations.
• Order: Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11 PDF 62.22kb 13 APR 16
Judge rules against gay couple in China's first-ever same-sex marriage case

CHINA, Hunan Province: On 13 April 2016, a judge in the Changsha Furong District People's Court ruled against a gay couple Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang who sued the civil affairs bureau in Changsha for refusing them the right to marry.

12 April 2016

North Carolina Gov. Alters Discriminatory Law ≠ Barely

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 12 April 2016, Governor Pat McCrory signed Executive Order No. 93 making limited changes to House Bill 2. The Order creates protections against discrimination in the provision of public services and state employment though it affirms that private businesses, nonprofit employers and local governments may establish their own non-discrimination employment policies.
• Order: Executive Order No. 93 PDF 403.3kb 12 APR 16
Israeli Military Discharges Transgender Conscientious Objector - on Mental Health Grounds

ISRAEL: On 10 April 2016, Aiden Katri, a 19-year-old trans woman, who refused to report for basic training on the grounds that she is a conscientious objector holding anti-occupation views, was discharged by the Israeli Defence Force on mental health grounds after being incarcerated in Military Prison 6.

11 April 2016

Appeals Court Dismisses Challenge to Utahís Polygamy Ban

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 11 April 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit overturned the District Court's ruling that the criminalization of cohabitation under the Utah polygamy law was unconstitutional, dismissing the appeal by the Attorney-General as moot on a technicality - the Browns (Plaintiffs-Appellees) did not face any credible threat to prosecution having moved to Nevada. The Court remanded the case ''to the district court with instructions to vacate its judgment and dismiss this suit without prejudice''.
• Order: Kody Brown; Meri Brown; Janelle Brown; Christine Brown; Robyn Sullivan v. Jeffrey R Buhman No. 14-4117 PDF 125.62kb, 11 APR 16
Norway's Lutheran church votes in favor of same-sex marriage

NORWAY: On 11 April 2016, at the annual conference of the Lutheran Church delegates voted 88-27 in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. Under the new rules, priests who do not want to marry a same-sex couple will still have the right to object.
Advertising Standards Board rules against Marriage Alliance rainbow noose ad

AUSTRALIA: On 09 March 2016, the Advertising Standards Board determined that a Marriage Alliance anti-same-sex marriage social media image, depicting a woman sitting at a desk, in an office work environment, with her head resting in her hands, with a multi-coloured rope attached to her neck, was suggestive of bullying and violence and is strongly suggestive of a person coming to serious harm, either by their own or someone else's hand. and was in breach Section 2.3 and 2.6 of the Code of Ethics.
Case Report: Marriage Alliance No. 0064/16 PDF 397.80kb 09 MAR 16

08 April 2016

Landmark High Court case sets new HIV transmission standard

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 06 April 2016, the High Court of Australia overturned the Queensland Supreme Court finding that Godfrey Zaburoni was guilty of ''intentionally transmitting a serious disease'' and sentencing him to imprisonment for nine years and six months. The High Court ruled that it could not be proved Godfrey Zaburoni ''intended'' to transmit HIV to his former partner and established that if a HIV-positive person has sex with someone without condoms, it cannot be inferred they intended to transmit HIV.
• Order: Godfrey Zaburoni v. The Queen [2016] HCA 12 PDF 175.17kb 06 APR 16
Puerto Rico same-sex marriage ban again struck down

PUERTO RICO: On 07 April 2016, following the US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruling, US District Judge Gustavo A Gelpí declared unconstitutional Article 68 of the Puerto Rico Civil Code, as well as any other federal or commonwealth law that prohibits same-sex couples from marrying, or which fails to recognize any valid same-sex marriage performed in another jurisdiction.
• Order: Ada Conde Vidal, et al. v. Alejander García Padilla, et al No. CV 14-1253 (GAG) PDF 27.01kb 07 APR 16
Gay slur aimed at hairdresser 'not homophobic' - French ruling

FRANCE: On 08 April 2016, an employment tribunal in Paris was reported to have ruled that calling a male hairdresser a ''faggot'' is not homophobic - ''because hair salons regularly employ gay people''. It agreed the word was insulting, but it fell short of being considered discriminatory. The employee was awarded Ä5,000 in damages ($5,700; £4,000) but will appeal the tribunal's decision.

07 April 2016

Pennsylvania bans bias against transgender people

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 07 April 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed two anti-discrimination executive orders to establish policy, procedures and responsibilities for the prohibition of discrimination against any employee or job applicant based on criteria including ''gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, AIDS or HIV status'' and for the elimination of discrimination in contracting, requiring any company doing business with the state to eliminate bias in hiring and promotion.
• Order: Executive Order 2016-05 - Contract Compliance 07 APR 16
• Order: Executive Order 2016-04 - Equal Employment Opportunity 07 APR 16

Appeals Court Rules Puerto Rico Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional, Decimates Lower Court Ruling

PUERTO RICO: On 07 April 2016, the US Court of Appeal for the First Circuit overturned the Puerto Rico District Court finding that the US Supreme Court same-sex marriage case Obergefell v. Hodges did not necessarily apply in the territory. The Court stated unambiguously that Territory's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
• Opinion: In Re: Ada M Conde Vidal et al. v. US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico No. 16-1313P-01A PDF 30.82kb 07 APR 16
Colombia high court rules in favor of same-sex marriage

COLUMBIA: On 07 April 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled 6-3 that same-sex couples have the right to marry.

06 April 2016

Tennessee bill would allow counselors to deny service based on religion

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 06 April 2016, the House of Representatives passed 68-22 Bill HB1840 (the companion Bill SB1556 passed the Senate in January), allowing mental health counselors to refuse service to patients on religious grounds and protecting therapists and counselors from civil lawsuits and criminal action if they deny services to clients whose religious beliefs conflict with their own. The Bill was sent to Governor Bill Haslam.
• Bill: House Bill 1840 PDF 35.34kb, 02 JAN 16

05 April 2016

Mississippi's new law allowing refusal of service to LGBT people is the most sweeping yet

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 05 April 2016, Governor Phil Bryant signed bill HB1523, the ''Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act'', that prohibits the state government from taking any discriminatory action against a person, religious organization, business or government employee for refusing services to LGBT people because of ''sincerely held religious beliefs'' or ''moral conviction'' against same-sex marriage, extra-marital sex and/or transgender people.
• Act: HB1523 the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" PDF 108.16kb, 04 JAN 16

04 April 2016

Paedophilia a 'sexual orientation - like being straight or gay'

UNITED KINGDOM: On 04 April 2016, a criminal psychologist was reported to have argued that ''Paedophilic Disorder (paedophilia) is a sexual orientation with individual(s) that are attracted to child features. In other words, an individual with pedophilia has the same ingrained attraction that a hetersexual female may feel towards a male, or a homosexual feels towards their same gender. With that being said, it needs to be said that sexuality is more of a spectrum than a finite category''.

01 April 2016

Same sex couples can now officially marry in Greenland

GREENLAND: On 01 April 2016, the new Marriage Act came into effect allowing same-sex couple to marry (and in churches and other religious buildings). The joint adoption clause included in the new Act will go into effect on 01 July 2016. The original Bill was supposed to go into effect in October but lapsed due to parliamentary elections.
Tribunal orders club to pay transgender man $15Gs

CANADA, Ontario: On 17 March 2016, Adjudicator Alison Renton in the Human Rights Tribunal found that transgender man Caesar Lewis was bullied, beaten and humiliated in a washroom at Sugar Daddys Nightclub by a security guard, ordering the nightclub to pay Lewis $15,000 compensation and provide human rights training to all staff. There was no appearance at the hearing by the nightclub.
Decision: Caesar Lewis v. Sugar Daddys Night Club 2016 HRTO 347 PDF 75.66kb 17 MAR 16
Mississippi lawmakers approve religion bill amid gay-rights protests

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 01 April 2016, the legislature passed bill HB1523 The ''Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act'', that would allow people with religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and provide wide protections for actions decried as discriminatory. The Bill now heads to Governor Phil Bryant.

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