GayLawNews™

August 2017

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31 August 2017

Supreme Court rejects petition to recognize same-sex marriage

ISRAEL: On 31 August 2017, Justices Elyakim Rubinstein (former deputy to the president), Neal Hendel and Anat Baron in the High Court of Justice reportedly rejected the claim that according to interpretations of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, same-sex marriage should be recognized. They said there is no contradiction in the state's current position regarding this issue and it was up to the legislators, and not the High Court, to determine this matter.

30 August 2017

Singaporeans in UAE Have Sentence Reduced

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: On 30 August 2017, it was reported that Singaporeans Muhammad Fadli Bin Abdul Rahman and his transgender friend Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim (also known as Fifi), sentenced to one year in prison, have had their sentences reduced to a fine and deportation.
Americans United And Fairness West Virginia Announce Settlement For West Virginia Same-Sex Couple Harassed By Gilmer County Clerk

UNITED STATES, West Virginia: On 30 August 2017, Gilmer County agreed to pay $10,000 in damages, in a settlement recognizing the harms suffered, and apologized to Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich who went to the Gilmer County courthouse to apply for a marriage license, which they were legally entitled to receive. Although they received that marriage license, they were disrespected and disparaged by staff at the County Clerk's Office because they are a same-sex couple.
Judge Says Richard Simmons Canít Sue Over Enquirer's Transgender Claim

UNITED STATES, California: On 30 August 2017, Judge Gregory Keosian ruled that a story in the National Enquirer alleging that Richard Simmons was in the process of transitioning from a male to a female was not defamatory, concluding that being misidentified as transgender is not libelous per se because such an identification does not expose ''any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation''.
• Opinion: Richard Simmons v. American Media, Inc., et al No. BC660633 HTML 30 AUG 17

29 August 2017

Victory! EEOC Finds Evidence of Job Discrimination by Walmart Against TLDEF Client in North Carolina

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 04 August 2017, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Deputy Director Thomas M Colclough found evidence that Charlene Bost faced discrimination and a retaliatory hostile work environment in her position as a cashier supervisor at Sam's Club (a subsidiary of Walmart) from 2013 through her firing in 2015 in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
• Determination: Charlene Bost v. Sam's East Inc. No. 430-2014-01900 PDF 10.51MB 04 AUG 17
UAE Jails Two Singaporeans for Dressing 'Feminine'

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: On 29 August 2017, it was reported that Singaporeans Muhammad Fadli Bin Abdul Rahman and his transgender friend Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim (also known as Fifi) were arrested on 09 August for behaving indecently and wearing women's clothes in public and sentenced to year in prison in Abu Dhabi.
In Complete Reversal, Israel Says It No Longer Opposes Same-sex Adoption

ISRAEL: On 29 August 2017, the Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry reportedly informed the state attorney that it was backing down from its previous position that it would not lift discriminatory procedures and says it accepts recommendations to allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt, although the Knesset would have to legislate on the issue as the current wording of the law describes adoptive parents as ''a man and his wife''.
Hungary: swimming pool fined for discriminating against LGBTQ sports club

HUNGARY: On 29 August 2017, it was reported that the Equal Treatment Authority found that a local government-run swimming pool discriminated against Atlasz Sports Club for refusing a request to rent two of its lanes for an LGBTQ competition, ordering the facility, run by a subsidiary of the Budapest District XII Local Government, to pay a fine of 1 million HUF, approximately 3,250 euros.
German same-sex couples will have to pose as 'man and woman' to get married

GERMANY: On 28 August 2017, it was reported that whilst same-sex couples will be able to be married from October 2017, due to a technical glitch that will not be fixed until 01 November 2018, same-sex couples will still have to register as husband and wife when applying for a marriage license.

28 August 2017

Illinois Just Became Only The Second State To Ban The ''Gay Panic'' Defense

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 25 August 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Bill (SB1761) into law (effective 01 January 2018) barring attorneys from submitting as a defense that their client was threatened by the victim's real or perceived sexual orientation.
Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN Sue President Trump to Reverse Transgender Military Service Ban

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 28 August 2017, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administrationís ban on military service by transgender individuals.
• Complaint: Ryan Karnoski, et al. v. Donald J Trump, et al. No. 2:17-cv-01297 PDF 230.45kb 28 AUG 17
Blood donations from gay men to be accepted conditionally

BELGIUM: On 28 August 2017, it was reported that a law stipulating that a gay man may donate blood if he has not had sexual relations with another man for the 12 preceding months was published in Belgium's Official Gazette, le Moniteur belge. The law will come into effect after an implementation decree is issued.

25 August 2017

Illinois Governor Rauner signs transgender birth certificate bill

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 25 August 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law HB1785, legislation that will modernize Illinois law allowing transgender and intersex individuals under doctor's care to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
It's official: Trump directs Pentagon to enact trans military ban

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 25 August 2017, a Presidential Memorandum was issued directing the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the US Coast Guard, to return to the longstanding policy and practice on military service by transgender individuals that was in place prior to June 2016, preventing their serving.
• Presidential Memorandum: Military Service by Transgender Individuals 25 AUG 17

24 August 2017

London court rules that song labelling gay men 'fairy' and 'fag' is not homophobic

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 26 June 2017, three Stratford magistrates found Ms Still and Mr Stott 'not guilty' of the charge of ''using threatening, abusive, and insulting words to cause alarm and distress'' as they concluded that the performance of a song referring to gay men as ''fairy'' and ''fag'' outside the home of gay couple Nick Fiveash and his male partner was not abusive or 'homophobic' but 'satirical'.
Minister Hussen announces major step forward in gender equality by making changes to passports and immigration documents

CANADA, Federal: On 24 August 2017, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen announced that the Government of Canada will be working to implement an ''X'' gender designation in Canadian passports, as well as other documents issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Interim measures starting 31 August 2017, will allow individuals to add an observation to their passport stating their sex should be identified as ''X'' indicating that it is unspecified.
Privacy is now a fundamental human right in India, Supreme Court rules

INDIA: On 24 August 2017, the nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the right to privacy was ''an intrinsic part of Article 21'' of the Indian constitution, which states: ''No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty''. The judgment may have far-reaching effects for the Indian LGBTIQ community.
Judgment: Justice K S Pottaswamy (Retd) and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors. No. 494 of 2012 PDF 3.04MB 24 AUG 17

20 August 2017

Transgender girl, 9, looks forward to 'more serene life'

MALTA: On 20 August 2017, a Gozo court reportedly ordered official changes to Lucinda Agius Lautier's name and gender after having been satisfied that the request was in the best interest of the girl and would ''help her lead a more serene life''.
Same-sex marriage ads exempt from discrimination rules

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 20 August 2017, it was reported that advertisements urging ''yes'' or ''no'' votes in the same-sex marriage survey would likely be considered ''political'' meaning they are not bound by standard discrimination and vilification rules.

17 August 2017

Anonymity Accorded for Legal Name, Gender Changes

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 10 August 2017, a three-judge panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously reversed two rulings by the Tippecanoe Circuit Court. The panel ruled that in the circumstances the statute requiring that transgender name changes be published should be waived. An administrative regulation gives courts discretion to waive that requirement if the applicant's health or safety would be threatened.
• Opinion: In re the Name Change of A.L. and In re the Name Change of L.S. No. 79A02-1703-MI-473 PDF 160.17kb 10 AUG 17
Bid to alter anti-discrimination law fails

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 17 August 2017, the Legislative Council (upper house) voted 7-4 against changes to the anti-discrimination law that would have enabled church groups to convey their views on issues like same-sex marriage without the fear of being reported to the anti-discrimination commissioner.
Judge rules it is legal for Northern Ireland not to recognise same-sex marriages

UNITED KINGDOM, Northern Ireland: On 17 August 2017, Mr Justice OíHara in the High Court was reported to have dismissed two cases challenging the ban on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland insisting the ban did not violate the rights of LGBT couples in the region, adding it was for the Stormont Assembly to decide social policy in Northern Ireland.
• Judgment: In the Matter of an Application by Grainne Close, Shannon Sickles, Christopher Flanagan Kane and Henry Flanganet for Judicial Review [2017] NIQB 79 PDF 97.54kb 17 AUG 17
• Judgment: X [2017] NIFam 12 PDF 141.14kb 17 AUG 18

16 August 2017

Attorney: Ankeny couple gets $3.25M after adopted son killed by birth father

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 15 August 2017, Rachel and Heidi McFarland were reportedly awarded $3.25M by a jury for emotional distress caused by their attorney Jason Rieper who negligently failed to obtain a release of custody document signed by birth mother Markeya Atkins to complete formal adoption of baby Gabriel McFarland. The baby was returned to Atkins and subsequently murdered by his father Drew James Weehler-Smith, 17, on 22 April 2014. Weehler-Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in January 2015 and received a 50-year prison sentence.
Former same-sex partner denied parental rights

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 16 August 2017, a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld a Miami-Dade County circuit judge's ruling that blocked parental rights for Vivian De Los Milagros Castellat, who helped raise a child for four years with her former partner, Gisela Lissette Pereira. The women were not married, and Pereira was the birth mother of the child, a girl born in 2009. The women separated in 2013.
• Opinion: Castellat v. Pereira No. 3D16-1855 PDF 98.00kb 16 AUG 17
Governor Cuoma Takes Decisive Action to Ensure Insurance Coverage for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals

UNITED STATES, New York: On 16 August 2017, Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced health insurers cannot discriminate or deny coverage based on gender identity so as to ensure that transgender or gender nonconforming individuals receive coverage regardless of whether they present as the gender to whom the service is typically or exclusively provided.
• Letter: Insurance Circular Letter No. 12 (2017) PDF 121.10kb 16 AUG 17
Appellate court upholds dismissal of Paxton B&B's appeal of penalties

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 16 August 2017, the Fourth District of the Illinois Appellate Court reportedly entered an order denying a motion filed by Chicago attorney Jason Craddock that had asked the court to reverse the dismissal of the Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast appeal.

14 August 2017

Woman accused of faking being lesbian by judge wins right to stay in UK after 13-year battle

UNITED KINGDOM: On 14 August 2017, it was reported that the Home Office had granted asylum to Aderonke Apata after her application was rejected in 2015 because the judge did not believe she was a lesbian despite the threat of being killed in Nigeria.

11 August 2017

Australian High Court to hear challenge to same-sex postal ballot in September

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 11 July 2017, Chief Justice Susan Kiefel told a directions hearing in Sydney that the challenge to prevent the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey proceeding would be heard in the court on 05 and 06 September.
Appeals court upholds Nebraska funeral picketing law

UNITED STATES, Nebraska: On 11 August 2017, the US Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit upheld Nebraska's law requiring picketers to stay at least 500 feet from funerals whilst finding that all speakers, including members of Westboro Baptist Church, have a constitutionally-protected right to express their beliefs at funerals.
• Opinion: Shirley Phelps-Roper v. Pete Ricketts No. 16-1902 PDF 78.56KB 11 AUG 17

09 August 2017

Same-sex marriage: Australians have 14 days to make sure they're on electoral roll for postal vote

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 09 August 2017, it was anticipated that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) would announce that Australians not already on the electoral roll will have until 24 August to register or amend their enrolment with the Australian Electoral Commission if they are to participate in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey on 24 September 2017.
Judge blocks law requiring birth certificates to marry

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 08 August 2017, in a ruling that may apply to similarly placed same-sex couples, US District Judge Ivan Lemelle permanently blocked a Louisiana law that prevented foreign-born US citizens from getting married if they couldn't produce a birth certificate.
• Opinion and Permanent Injunction: Viet Anh Vo v. Rebekah E Gee et al. No. 16-cv-15639 PDF 341.06kb 08 AUG 17

08 August 2017

School Settles for 120K with Transgender Child's Parents in Discrimination Case

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 08 August, it was reported that David and Hannah Edwards had agreed a $120K out-of-court settlement of their St. Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity claim filed against Nova Classical Academy Charter School in St. Paul after the school failed to provide a curriculum of transgender-awareness or implement policies that would have protected their child against bullying.
Jordan blocks access to LGBTQ online magazine

JORDAN: On 31 July 2017, the Jordanian Audiovisual Commission, a government regulator, ordered access to the website ''My.Kali'', which describes itself as ''LGTBQIA-inclusive'', blocked because it had not applied to the minister of information for a license in accordance with Jordan's Press and Publication Law.
Moscow Court Halts Journalist's Deportation To Uzbekistan

RUSSIA, Moscow: On 08 August 2017, the Moscow City Court ruled that journalist Ali Feruz (real name Hudoberdi Nurmatov), a reporter for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, cannot be deported to Uzbekistan until the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) examines his asylum appeal following a lower courts ruling on 01 August that he be deported for alleged violations of immigration law. The ECHR issued an order on 04 August 4 barring his transfer to Uzbekistan.

07 August 2017

EEOC determines Walmart violated Civil Rights Act and discriminated against transgender employee

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 24 July 2017, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that determined Sam's Club, a subsidiary of Walmart, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in discriminating against transgender employee Jessica Shyne Robison, finding a supervisor began harassing and intimidating her when she began her gender transition in 2014. Sam's Club disciplined and demoted Robison after she filed a complaint.
• Letter of Determination" Jessica Robison and Sam's East Inc. (Sam's Club) No. 511-2015-01402 PDF 3.76MB 26 JUL 16
Liberals Decide Marriage Equality Strategy

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 07 August 2018, the Liberal party room decided to pursue the pre-election promise of a non-binding plebiscite requiring a national vote (presently blocked in the Senate). The alternative suggested postal plebiscite will likely be met with a legal challenge (see Joint Opinion) and whatever the outcome of a plebiscite, the Parliament ultimately must decide the issue which in fact it can do now without further ado.
• Joint Opinion: Potential Postal Plebiscite on Same Sex Marriage PDF 693.97kb 04 AUG 17

06 August 2017

Dean Smith reveals marriage bill with religious protections

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 05 August 2017, it was reported that Liberal senator Dean Smith had sent his marriage equality bill to his parliamentary colleagues for their consideration ahead of the Liberal Party meeting on the marriage equality issue.
• Bill: c PDF 107.47kb 05 AUG 17

05 August 2017

Nepali couple registers 'first transgender marriage'

NEPAL: On 05 August 2017, it was reported that Monika Shahi Nath, 40, who legally identifies as a third gender, married Ramesh Nath Yogi, 22, in May and was able to register what is thought to be the first transgender marriage in their home district Dadeldhura in western Nepal last month.

04 August 2017

South Korea: Supreme Court dismisses appeal against registration of an LGBTI organisation

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: On 28 July 2017, Supreme Court of South Korea was reported to have rejected an appeal by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) against the registration of LGBTI human rights organisation ''Beyond the Rainbow Foundation'', ruling that there was ''no reason'' for the Ministry to file the appeal opposing the registration of the advocacy group.
Anglican priests sacked for being gay must be reinstated, Kenya court rules

KENYA: On 07 June 2017, the Court of Appeal ruled that Archdeacon John Njogu Gachau, Rev James Maina Maigua and Rev Paul Mwangi Warui, three Anglican clergy sacked for allegedly being gay must be reinstated, after the Church failed to produce any evidence they were homosexuals. The Court upheld an earlier ruling forcing the Anglican Church of Kenya to pay 6.8million Kenyan shillings (£50,000) in damages and reinstall the three men, saying there was no evidence of alleged homosexuality.
• Ruling: The Registered Trustees of the Anglican Church of Kenya v. James Maina Maigwa, John Njogu Gachau, Paul Mwangi Warui No. 71 of 2016 PDF 32.14kb 07 JUN 17

03 August 2017

Arizona County Bans Paid Gay-Conversion Therapy for Minors

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 01 August 2017, the Pima County Board of Supervisors reportedly approved a resolution (Ordinance No. 2017-22) banning paid sexual orientation ''conversion therapy'' for minors, restricting ''sexual orientation change efforts to change behaviors, sexual or gender identities or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings towards persons of the same sex''.
Israel's Top Court Says Same-sex Surrogacy Law Discriminatory, but Defers Ruling

ISRAEL: On 03 August 2017, the High Court of Justice reportedly postponed by six months its ruling on a petition (demanding Israel permit single people and same-sex couples to arrange surrogate births in Israel) to allow lawmakers to follow through with new legislation that might render the petition obsolete.
Wisconsin: Favorable Court Decision for Wedding Photographer

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 01 August 2017, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Neiss reportedly determined in the case Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of Madison that he would issue an order that declares Lawson and her home-based business are not subject to the city's public accommodations ordinance or the state's public accommodations law that might have forced her to photograph same-sex weddings.
Major U.S. transgender case remanded after student graduates

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 03 August 2017, the US Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit remanded the Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board case in which a transgender boy challenged his being denied use of the boys' room at his school. The Court remanded the case to the District Court to determine whether Gavin Grimm has a continuing interest, he having since graduated from the school.
• Opinion: Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board No. 15-2056 PDF 28.76kb 03 AUG 17
Middle Eastern man attracted to transgender women wins asylum after appeal

NEW ZEALAND: On 27 January 2017, the Immigration and Protection Tribunal upheld an appeal by a Jordanian man finding his fears of being killed on account of his attraction to transgender women in his home country were well founded and accordingly granted him refugee status.
• Decision: AM (Jordan) [2017] NZIPT 800972 PDF 19.03kb 27 JAN 17

01 August 2017

Transgender Chinese Man Wins Groundbreaking Job Discrimination Lawsuit

CHINA: On 27 July 2017, a district court in the southwestern city of Guiyang reportedly ruled that a transgender man was unjustly dismissed by a former employer, ordering his previous employer, Ciming Checkup, to pay him the equivalent of $297.
Settled: Lawsuit Forces An End To School District's Anti-Transgender Bathroom Policy

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 01 August 2017, Lambda Legal announced it had reached a settlement with the Pine-Richland School District, forcing the district to end a discriminatory, anti-transgender policy that prevented transgender students from using the bathroom that matches who they are.
• Joint Motion for Consent Judgment: Juliet Evancho, et al. v. Pine-Richland School District, et al. No. 2:16-cv-01537-MRH PDF 263.94kb 01 AUG 17

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