GayLawNews™

July 2016

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28 July 2016

Court declines to rule anti-gay bias is gender discrimination

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 28 July 2016, in the US Appeals Court for the Seventh Circuit Judge Ilana Rovner wrote in a 42-page decision on behalf of a three-judge panel ''it seems illogical to entertain'' the idea that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against sex discrimination covers gender non-conformity, but not sexual orientation, however she says she cannot issue a new ruling given precedent in the judicial circuit.
• Opinion: Kimberley Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College No. 15-1720 PDF 338.49kb 28 JUL 16

27 July 2016

Future Gay Partners of Descendants to be Given the Same Rights as Heterosexual Spouses

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 27 June 2016, it was reported that Judge Hodge in the High Court had approved an extension of the definition of spouse in the substantial Pemberton family trust to give any civil partner or spouse of a descendant in a same sex marriage the same rights as heterosexual spouses.

26 July 2016

BC passes trans rights in one sitting

CANADA, British Columbia: On 25 July 2016, the parliament passed Bill 27, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2016, that explicitly adds gender identity and expression to the list of grounds protected from discrimination under the BC Human Rights Code, which means trans people can no longer get fired or lose housing or face discrimination just for being themselves when the changes become law with royal assent by the lieutenant governor.

25 July 2016

Lambda Legal Sues US State Department on Behalf of Intersex Citizen Denied Passport

UNITED STATES, Federal:> On 25 July 2016, Lambda Legal today filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the US State Department on behalf of Dana Zzyym, an intersex client denied a US passport because Dana could not accurately choose either male or female on the passport application form, and the form does not provide any other gender marker designation.
• Complaint: Dana Zzyym v. John F Kerry and Sherman D Portell No. 1:15-cv-02362 PDF 25 OCT 15

22 July 2016

Denmark sends home 3 Ugandan lesbians where they risk being prosecuted

DENMARK: On 22 July 2016, it was reported that three women from Uganda, who have sought asylum in Denmark because of their homosexuality, will be deported to their home country, because the authorities believe their statements were not credible and do not consider it likely that they would face persecution or abuse if they are expelled.
Italy to start performing civil unions from mid-August

ITALY: On 21 July 2016, the Interior Ministry reportedly announced that starting Friday mayors across the country will be taking bookings for same-sex civil union ceremonies to be carried out starting mid-August.
Seeking to limit gay sex, Tanzania bans lubricants

TANZANIA: On 22 July 2016, the Tanzanian government was reported to have banned imports and sales of sexual lubricants on the theory that, without them, homosexuality will decrease.
Judge to monitor Kansas' actions on gay marriage

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 22 July 2016, US District Judge Daniel Crabtree issued a permanent order barring the state from treating same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples in allowing them to marry or extending the benefits of marriage to them. The Court retained jurisdiction over the enforcement of the permanent injunction and issues related to it for three years.
• Memorandum and Order: Kail Marie, et al. v. Susan Mosier et al. No. 14-cv-02518-DDC-TJJ PDF 394.21kb 22 JUL 16

20 July 2016

Teachers who had sex at school not bad role models: judge

UNITED STATES, New York: On 20 July 2016, it was reported that Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinge ruled that James Madison High School teachers Cindy Mauro and Alini Brito should not have been suspended for more than a year for alleged sexual activity in an empty classroom, upholding the one-year penalty for Brito and, finding nothing in the record to support the bad role model finding about Mauro, reduced the two-year suspension to one-year.
Cabinet approves the Transgender Persons Bill 2016

INDIA: On 20 July 2016, the Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016. If the Bill becomes law it will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society.
Romania moves closer to ruling out possibility of legalising same-sex marriage

ROMANIA: On 20 July 2016, the nine judges on the Constitutional Court ruled unanimously that a proposal signed by 3 million Romanians this year to change the constitution's definition of marriage was valid, paving the way for a referendum on defining marriage in the constitution as a union strictly between a man and a woman. Currently, the constitution says family starts ''on the basis of freely consenting marriage between spouses''.

19 July 2016

Same-sex Manx marriages can go ahead after Royal Assent

UNITED KINGDOM, Isle of Man: On 19 July 2016, the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act received Royal Assent with the legislation enabling same-sex marriages with effect on 22 July 2016.

18 July 2016

Arkansas professional board okays discrimination against LGBT clients

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 18 July 2016, the Board of Examiners and Counseling, which regulates 2,800 counselors and marriage and family therapists in the state, was reported to have approved a discriminatory rule that will allow counselors and therapists to refer a patient to someone else over sincerely held ''ethical, moral or religious principles'' but only after careful consideration and consultation, and only if the counselor is unable to effectively serve the client. It also says counselors cannot abandon someone who seeks assistance.

17 July 2016

Queensland family left in limbo over passport debacle

AUSTRALIA: On 17 July 2016, it was reported that Kyle and Kent Stewart, who married and are living in Canada have obtained Australian citizenship through descent for Kaden, the biological son of one of them, however the Australian Passport Office interprets the Family Law Act to consider that the surrogate mother of Kaden is a parent and requires her consent to issue a passport, even though she is neither a citizen nor a resident of Australia and she signed a statutory declaration rescinding any parental rights and the law in Canada doesn't recognise her as a parent.

15 July 2016

Brown Signs Bill to Recognize Marriage Equality in Language

UNITED STATES, California: On 01 July 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1005. The Bill will alter the legalese of multiple California code sections to more gender-neutral language. Words like 'husband' and 'wife' will be changed to 'spouse'.
Advocate General rules 'death-bed marriages' restriction discriminates against same-sex partners

IRELAND: On 30 June 2016, the Advocate General released an opinion finding that a pension scheme provision that a spouse's pension would only be available where a member had married or entered into a civil partnership prior to attaining the age of 60, constituted indirect discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, as well as direct age discrimination. Under Irish law, civil partnership was not recognised until 2011 and so, for homosexual individuals born prior to 1951, their partners could not be eligible for a spouse's pension under the scheme. The opinion sought by the Labour Court, Ireland does not bind the European Court of Justice.
• Opinion: Dr David L Parris v. Trinity College Dublin and Others No. C-443/15 HTML 30 JUN 16
Gay March in Israeli City Canceled After Court Ruling

ISRAEL: On 14 July 2016, it was reported that the first gay pride march in the Israeli city of Beersheba was cancelled following a Supreme Court decision restricting the route of the march and citing police intelligence assessments that indicated the possibility of violence.
Bermuda Senate narrowly rejects anti-marriage bill

BERMUDA: On 14 July 2016, the Senate was reported to have rejected 5-6 the Human Rights Amendment Act that sought to exclude the Matrimonial Causes Act 1974 (which provides that a marriage is void unless the parties are respectively male and female) from the overriding primacy of the Human Rights Act (that makes unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation as well as other attributes).

14 July 2016

Anti-discrimination law updated - great step forward in Bosnia and Herzegovina

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: On 14 July 2016, the the House of the Peoples adopted amendments to the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination defining sexual orientation and gender identity more accurately in local languages. In addition to these changes, sex characteristics was explicitly added to the list of protected grounds. These amendments had previously been approved by the Representatives House in early July.
Trans bathroom law passes in Cleveland just as GOP lifts lid on Trump

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 13 July 2016, the City of Cleveland voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 1446-13 expanding the existing nondiscrimination law that covers public accommodations to include transgender people, allowing transgender individuals to use almost any restroom in town consistent with their gender identity.
• Ordinance: Ordinance No. 1446-13 PDF 390.96kb 13 JUL 16

13 July 2016

West Palm Beach Adds Trans Benefits to Employee Health Plan

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 13 July 2016, the City of West Palm Beach was reported to have approved eligibility under the City's health plan with effect from 01 July, for both male-to-female and female-to-male employees of at least twelve months duration who have been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria, for certain procedures including pre- and post-surgical hormone therapy, orchiectomy, mastectomy, abdominal hysterectomy, vaginoplasty and vaginectomy.
Family Court approves first adoption by same-sex couple

MALTA: On 12 July 2016, the Family Court was reported to have approved the adoption of a child be a homosexual couple after they were recently united in a civil union and assessed as suitable by the Court.

12 July 2016

Anglicans to allow same-sex marriage after vote recount

CANADA: On 12 July 2016, it was reported that following a voting error and recount, the Anglican Church of Canada synod voted to allow same-sex marriage. The resolution still needs affirmation by the next synod in 2019 before it becomes church law.

11 July 2016

After 30-year ban, gay men in France allowed to donate blood

FRANCE: On 11 July 2016, gay men who abstain from sex with other males for a total of 12 months may now donate blood. For the donation of plasma, gay males are required to abstain from sex for four months. The ban on lesbians donating blood was lifted in 2002.

10 July 2016

United Reformed Church endorses same-sex marriage ceremonies

UNITED KINGDOM: On 10 July 2016, it was reported that the United Reformed Church voted 240-21 to permit same-sex weddings in its churches. Individual churches are not required to follow the new directive. Those who wish to participate can register, which means the first same-sex ceremonies can occur as early as this autumn.

09 July 2016

Bill stops same-sex marriage

BERMUDA: On 08 July 2016, the House of Assembly passed 20-10 a Bill to the effect that nothing in the Human Rights Act would override the provisions of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1974, which provides that marriages are void unless they are between a man and a woman.

08 July 2016

Naha recognizes same-sex partnerships

JAPAN: On 08 July 2016, Naha City reportedly introduced a new system officially recognizing same-sex partners who are aged 20 or older and would begin issuing partnership certificates to same-sex couples.
Jamaican Supreme Court Admits Religious Groups as Interested Parties in Challenge to Anti-Sodomy Law PDF 15.88kb

JAMAICA: On 06 July 2016, the Supreme Court granted the applications by nine religious groups to be added as interested parties in a challenge by Jamaican lawyer Maurice Tomlinson to the country's anti-sodomy law, but denied the application of the Public Defender, who is expected to apply for leave to appeal the decision .

07 July 2016

Victory: Maryland's Highest Court Rules in Favor of De Facto Parentage for Same-Sex Couples, in Case Brought by FreeState Justice PDF

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 07 July 2016, the Maryland Court of Appeal in Conover v. Conover ruled unanimously in favor of recognizing the parent-child relationships of de facto parents who lack a biological or adoptive relationship with their children.
• Opinion: Conover v. Conover No. 79 PDF 131.88kgs 07 JUL 16

06 July 2016

Court: No parent rights at end of same-sex relationship

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 05 July 2016, the Court of Appeals in the Lake v. Putnam case ruled that Michelle Lake, whose same-sex relationship ended before gay marriage became legal, doesn't have parental rights to a child born to her partner Kerri Putnam in 2008, because the boy wasn't born during a ''marriage''.
• Opinion: Michelle Lake v. Kerri Putnam aka Kerri Skidmore No. 330955 PDF 92.85kgs 05 JUL 16
MP seeks end to gay sex sack threat for UK flag seafarers

UNITED KINGDOM: On 29 June 2016, John Glen's Merchant Shipping (Homosexual Conduct) Bill 2016-17 was introduced. The Bill would repeal sections 146(4) and 147(3) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Section 146(4) makes a homosexual act a ground for discharging a member of Her Majesty's armed forces from the service or dismissing a member of the crew of a United Kingdom merchant ship from his ship. Section 147(3) applies the same to Northern Ireland. The private member's bill is not expected to become law.

05 July 2016

European court strikes against Hungary’s arbitrary detention of LGBT asylum seekers

HUNGARY: On 05 July 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the applicant O.M.'s detention in Hungary was arbitrary, unjustified and in violation of Article 5 (Right to liberty and security) of the European Convention. In particular, the Court found that Hungarian authorities failed to make an individualised assessment and to take into account applicant's vulnerability in the detention facility based on his sexual orientation.
• Judgment: Case of O.M. v. Hungary No. 9915/15 HTML 05 JUL 16
Newark bans discrimination against LGBT people

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 05 July 2016, the Newark City Council was reported to have voted unanimously to pass Ordinance 16-18 amending the city ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in employment, fair housing.

01 July 2016

Gay couple who ‘bought’ three babies in six months declared legal parents

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 01 July 2016, it was reported that Ms Justice Russell in the High Court declared a gay couple who paid three different surrogate mothers §40,000 to have three babies in six months the legal parents of their children, whilst finding their conduct in attempting to mislead the Court regarding payments was reprehensible. The Judge heard evidence from the children's court-appointed guardian who praised the couple's excellent parenting.
Judge rules surrogate mother could give baby a better home than gay couple

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 30 June 2016, Ms Justice Russell in the High Court ruled it was in the best interests of the baby child Z - conceived in Cyprus by the implanting of a frozen embryo stored from a previous procedure and provided by the biological father A, the same-sex partner of B, after making contact through a FaceBook surrogacy site - should remain with his surrogate mother. The circumstances of ''surrogacy agreement'' were controversial. As there was some agreement as to naming, it was ordered that the child should have A's surname.
• Judgment: Re Z (surrogacy agreements) (Child arrangement orders) [2016] EWFC 34 HTML 30 JUN 16
Chile court gives gay man right to partner's remains

CHILE: On 30 June 2016, the Supreme Court set a precedent by awarding Vladimir Urrutia the right to decide where the remains of his deceased partner should lie instead of the deceased's family. The couple had been in a 12-year relationship but not married and did not have a civil partnership.
Only transgenders are third gender: Supreme Court

INDIA: On 30 June 2016, Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana in the Supreme Court refused to modify a 2014 ruling on transgender rights and clarified that only the transgender community would qualify as the ''third gender'' and not gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

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