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Headlines this month
Israel Gets First Same-Sex Conjugal Prison VisitISRAEL: On 26 April 2017, it was reported that the Israel Prison Service for the first time had granted prisoner Zaor Hankishayev a conjugal visit from his partner. In 2016, the Beersheba District Court reportedly recognized Hankishayev and his partner as having a civil union and accepted Hankishayev's accusation that his conjugal visit rejection stemmed from discrimination because he is gay. Court allows Chicago church to fire gay worker under religious exemptionUNITED STATES, Illinois: On 18 April 2017, Judge Charles P Kocoras in the US District Court rejected Chicago-based music director Colin Collette's claim he was unlawfully fired from the Holy Family Parish Catholic church for being gay, finding the parish can legally terminate the employee under the religious exemptions of civil rights laws, Collette proposed marriage to his longtime partner Will Nifong and upon learning of Collette's engagement, the Defendants terminated his employment on 27 July 2014.
Order: Colin Collette v. Holy Family Parish, Archdiocese of Chicago No. 1:16-cv-02912 41.95kb 18 APR 17 Posting private nude photos is now a crime in the Navy and Marine CorpsUNITED STATES, Federal: On 18 April 2017, it was reported that the Navy and Marine Corps announced that Article 1168 of the Navy regulations went into effect to ban distributing any ''intimate image'' with the intent to ''humiliate, harass, or threaten that person or a reckless disregard that they would face humiliation, threats, or harassment''.
Regulation: US Navy Regulation, 1990 Interim Change ALNAV 021/17, 18 APR 17
South Korea Military Allegedly Outs Gay SoldiersREPUBLIC OF KOREA: On 18 April 2017, it was reported by campaign group the Military Human Rights Center for Korea (MHRCK) that General Jang Jun-kyu, the army chief of staff, had launched a ''track-down process'' to locate and expose suspected gay personnel. It is alleged that up to 50 soldiers have been outed after being lured in by fake profiles on popular gay dating apps. It has been reported that 20 personnel are now facing serious charges.
2nd Circuit (again) finds anti-gay discrimination legal under Title VIIUNITED STATES, New York: On 18 April 2017, the Court of Appeasl for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled that anti-gay discrimination is not prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of the 1964, citing the Simonton v.Runyon, 232 F.3d 33 (2d Cir. 2000) case. Donald Zarda (now deceased) sued Altitude Express asserting he was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor because of sexual-orientation discrimination in violation of New York state law and sex under ''Title VII''.
Opinion: Melissa Zarda and William Allen Moore Jr v. Altitude Express and Ray Maynard No. 15-3775 190.78kb 18 APR 17 Common-law marriages of same-sex couples must be recognized, Pennsylvania court rulesUNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 17 April 2017, the Superior Court ruled that a same-sex couple had a legitimate common-law marriage decades before same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania, meaning the surviving partner Michael Hunter has the same legal rights, including shared property rights, that any other widow or widower would have following their spouse's death. The ruling opens the door to the recognition of other same-sex common-law marriages that were entered into before the state abolished common-law marriage in January 2005.
Opinion: In Re: Estate of Carter, S., Appeal of: Hunter, M. 1126 WDA 2016 178.13kb 17 APR 17 India just made it illegal to discriminate against people living with HIVINDIA: On 11 April 2017, the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill reportedly passed in the federal parliament. The bill makes it illegal to discriminate against PLHIV and requires all state governments to establish an ombudsman to investigate violations of the new law. Another clause requires the government to provide free treatment 'as far as possible', this latter being seen by some as a loophole.
Woman loses landmark same-sex custody battleUNITED STATES, New York: On 14 April 2017, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Frank Nervo ruled that Kelly Gunn didn't have an ''unabated plan'' to adopt and raise a child with Circe Hamilton. Even though the women had discussed adopting a child together, by the time Hamilton went through with the process, she and Gunn had already split up and Gunn had stated ''on numerous occasions that she did not want to be a parent''.
Virginia Supreme Court dismisses Fairfax school district lawsuitUNITED STATES, Virginia: On 13 April 2017, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of Traditional Values Coalition President Andrea Lafferty and an unnamed minor and his parents, that challenged the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Fairfax County School District's nondiscrimination policy, ruling Lafferty and the other plaintiffs did not have legal standing to challenge the inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the policy.
Opinion: Andrea Lafferty, et al. v. School Board of Fairfax County No. 160777 50.67kb 13 APR 17
Falklands passes same sex marriage bill; invites non residents to share the legislationFALKLAND ISLANDS: On 30 March 2017, the Legislative Assembly voted strongly in favor of reform and passed the Marriage Bill, allowing same sex marriage and civil partnerships for both resident and non-resident same sex couples and heterosexual couples. Sandoval signs law for transgender ID in foster, court careUNITED STATES, Nevada: On 11 April 2017, Governor Brian Sandoval was reported to have signed Assembly Bill 99 into law mandating foster care facilities and juvenile courts treat transgender children as their identifying gender. It also establishes training for state employees and foster parents on working with foster kids who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning their sexuality. Calling a man ''ladybug'' is discriminatory: Constitutional Court (in Spanish)COLOMBIA: On 10 April 2017, the Constitutional Court reportedly ruled in favor of a Barranquilla man, the victim of verbal aggressions of neighbors.The Court noted the LGBT community is constitutionally protected and that such discriminatory acts go against the law and are unacceptable.
Fiji confirms ban on homosexual blood donorsFIJI: On 10 April 2017, it was reported that the health ministry in Fiji confirmed homosexuals are banned from donating blood because they are seen as high-risk donors.
Social Security update for same-sex couplesUNITED STATES, Federal: On 10 April 2017, InvestmentNews published updated guidance for same-sex couple seeking to claim benefits as a spouse, surviving spouse or ex-spouse and qualifying minimum length of marriage requirements. New Mexico Governor Signs Into Law Bill Protecting LGBTQ Youth From ''Conversion Therapy''UNITED STATES, New Mexico: On 07 April 2017, Governor Susana Martinez signed SB-121 into law. The law bans doctors, nurses, and licensed therapists from any attempt to talk to clients about recovering from gay temptation. It also prohibits any professional from helping a boy accept that he is a male or a girl accept that she is a female.
Court upholds ruling in favor of same-sex couples seeking to adopt foster kidsUNITED STATES, Nebraska: On 07 April 2017, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the ruling of District Court for Lancaster County John A Colborn in favor of three same-sex couples who said a state policy prevented them from adopting foster kids because of their sexual orientation.
Opinion: Greg Stewart et al. v. Dave Heineman 296Neb. 262 704.58kb 07 APR 17 India's government just declared trans people can use whichever public toilet they wantINDIA: On 06 April 2017, it was reported that the Ministry of Sanitation had created new guidelines allowing trans people to use the public restroom of their choice.
Osaka men become first gay couple to foster a child in JapanJAPAN, Osaka: On 05 April 2017, the Osaka city government announced it had recognized two men in their 40s and 30s respectively as foster parents. They had been living with a teenage boy since February and were granted official foster parent status.
European court: Forced sterilization of trans people violates human rightsEUROPE, France: On 06 April 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled 6-1 that the forced sterilization of three French transgender people who are seeking legal recognition of their gender identity violates their human rights.
Judgment (in French): A.P., Garcon and Nicot v. France Nos.79885/12, 52471/13 et 52596/13 06 APR 17
Federal fair housing law protects LGBT couples, court rules for first timeUNITED STATES, Colorado: On 05 April 2017, Judge Raymond P Moore in the US District Court for the District of Colorado ruled that the federal law barring housing discrimination protects LGBT people. The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent or sell housing to anyone because of “sex, familial status, or national origin.
Order: Tonya Smith, Joseph Smith v. Deepika Avanti No. 16-cv-00091-RM-MJW 388.54kb 05 APR 17 Madras HC directs TN govt to build public toilets for transgendersINDIA, Tamil Nadu: On 04 April 2017, the First Bench of the Madra High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice Teekaa Raman reportedly directed the Tamil Nadu government to build public toilets cum bathrooms for transgenders, where they live in large numbers in the city.
Federal Court Rules Employers Can't Fire People for Being GayUNITED STATES, Indiana: On 04 April 2017, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8-3 that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.
Opinion: Kimberley Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College 15-1720 430.67kb 04 APR 17 In a world first, Singapore’s highest court rules that parents deserve kids with their genesSINGAPORE: On 22 March 2017, the Court of Appeal ruled in ACB v. Thomson Medical that opposite sex parents have a strong interest in ''genetic affinity'' with their children, one that can merit compensation if subverted. ''Genetic affinity'' is an entirely new legal standard and whether it would be applied in a similar same-sex case is yet to be decided.
Judgment: ACB v Thomson Medical Pte Ltd & 3 Others  SGCA 20 830.00kb 22 MAR 17
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